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Roberts Proton Therapy Center

Radiation therapy staff with a patient in scanning

Choosing the right team for cancer care makes a difference, both for your health and your peace of mind. At the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, you'll find exceptional care with expert specialists in proton therapy, the most advanced form of radiation therapy available.

Roberts Proton Therapy Center: The Penn Medicine Advantage

Centrally located in Philadelphia, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center combines the unmatched expertise of world-renowned radiation specialists with the latest technology and compassionate care. We offer you:

Extensive expertise: Every member of our team has specialized training and experience in proton therapy. We have built an international reputation for excellent patient care, by caring for thousands of patients since the center opened in 2010.

  • World leaders in proton therapy: With five treatment rooms and a dedicated research room, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the world's largest center integrating proton with conventional radiation therapy. If you need other types of radiation therapy or cancer treatment, you'll find them all under one roof.
  • Access to clinical trials: We're committed to research that advances the standard of care for proton therapy. At the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, you have access to clinical trials examining the latest treatments not available at most other cancer centers.
  • Comprehensive care for children: Through a partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), their specialty-trained pediatric radiation oncologists treat children at the Roberts Proton Therapy Center.
  • Nationally recognized cancer care: Our center is one of a few proton beam therapy centers in the world that is fully integrated with a National Cancer Institute (NCI) -designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report consistently rates the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania -Penn Presbyterian highest in region for cancer. You'll find every kind of treatment you need — for any type of cancer — at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

What Is Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. With protons (positively charged atoms) as the energy source, proton therapy offers greater precision and accuracy than conventional radiation therapy using X-rays. Learn more about proton therapy, and get answers to FAQs about proton therapy.

About the Roberts Proton Therapy Center

At about 75,000 square feet, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center has five treatment rooms and a research room dedicated to proton therapy. We also have an additional five rooms for conventional (photon) radiation therapy. As the largest center in the world for both proton and conventional radiation, we treat more than 100 patients with proton therapy daily.

Your Expert Care Team for Proton Therapy

As part of Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is home to nationally recognized experts in radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Our team includes members from several fields of cancer medicine with specialized training in proton therapy.

Our highly trained specialists include:

  • Radiation oncologists: These physicians specialize in treating cancer with radiation therapy.
  • Radiation physicists: Our physicists help radiation oncologists with treatment planning and maintain radiation equipment.
  • Radiation oncology nurses: Our nurses specialize in radiation therapy and cancer in specific areas of the body, such as the breast or brain. Many hold certifications in radiation oncology from the Oncology Nursing Society.
  • Dosimetrists: These specialists calculate the proper radiation dose for treatment, working closely with radiation physicists and radiation oncologists.
  • Radiation therapists: Our therapists specialize in delivering radiation therapy with proton technology. They work with you every day during your treatment.
  • Diagnostic radiologists: Your care team may include a physician who specializes in interpreting imaging to help design the treatment.

Our Pediatric Proton Therapy Specialists

At the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, dedicated pediatric proton therapy experts from CHOP offer specialized treatment for children with certain types of cancer. The CHOP team includes the same types of specialists as for adult treatment, with advanced training in pediatric care. Additional care providers on CHOP's pediatric proton therapy team include:

  • Pediatric anesthesiologists: For children who need anesthesia while receiving proton therapy, the pediatric anesthesiology team ensures that medication is delivered safely and appropriately.
  • Nurse navigators: These nurses guide families through the treatment process and help coordinate health insurance and services at CHOP.
  • Pediatric neuropsychologists: For children who receive radiation therapy to the brain, testing can identify and address any neurocognitive and developmental issues as early as possible.
  • Psychosocial support team: Child life specialists work to minimize children's stress and teach them coping techniques. Social workers can help with nearby lodging, financial and other needs.

Proton therapy can be ideal for treating children who have cancer. Its precision and accuracy minimize damage to healthy tissues near tumors, reducing the risk of future complications. Learn more about the pediatric proton therapy program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Latest Advances in Proton Beam Technology

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is in a building connected to the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine in Philadelphia. The Roberts Proton Therapy Center offers:

  • Sophisticated technology for precision and accuracy: We offer pencil beam scanning (PBS), also called spot scanning, in which the proton beam is just millimeters wide. Our team can create a radiation dose that "paints" the tumor layer by layer for precise targeting. We can also adjust the beam's intensity to deliver more radiation in certain areas of the targeted tissue.
  • Advanced imaging technology: The Roberts Proton Therapy Center has the latest imaging equipment integrated into the proton therapy machines. We use scans to calculate accurate radiation doses and plan the areas to target and avoid. Our imaging technology includes 4D and dual-energy computed tomography (CT), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT).

Support Services for People Receiving Proton Therapy

The Abramson Cancer Center offers a wide range of support services for people receiving cancer treatment and their loved ones. The Roberts Proton Therapy Center offers additional services especially for people who are receiving proton therapy. These services include:

  • Help with transportation, lodging, counseling and other services from social workers who specialize in working with people who have cancer
  • Consultations with specialized registered dietitians who design eating plans for ease of swallowing and weight management
  • Patient alumni group in which current and previous patients of proton therapy can meet and talk about shared experiences
  • Integrative and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, art therapy, massage, meditation, pet therapy, reiki and yoga

Contact Us

To find out more about proton therapy and other cancer treatment at Penn Medicine, please call 800-789-7366 (PENN). You can also request an appointment online.