What is Proton Therapy
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Referring to the Center FAQ

Referrals: Our Goal Is To Help You Quickly Access The Care Your Patient Needs.

What is your expertise?

Our radiation oncologists are all faculty of the University of Washington Department of Radiation Oncology. They will plan your patient’s course of therapy, manage their clinical care and conduct weekly check-ups to ensure that the treatment is on track. At the end of your patient’s treatment, they will also provide you with a concise treatment summary. With specializations in brain, head and neck, ocular, breast, lung, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, prostate and pediatric cancers, our physicians have the expertise to provide the highest level of medical care to patients. In addition, SCCA Proton Therapy is a collaborative effort between world-class cancer treatment leader Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and its member institutions: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's. We want patients to have the best access to the best treatment options, regardless of where their oncologist practices.

Where have your physicians trained?

Having trained at some of the best cancer centers in the country, including UW Medicine, Harvard, MD Anderson, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, the radiation oncologists at the UW Department of Radiation Oncology are leaders in the field and are known for clinical excellence as well as research in cancer care. All faculty who practice at our Center have been specially trained in proton therapy.

What cancers do you treat?

The Center treats solid tumors, including prostate, brain, head and neck, breast, lung and childhood cancers. For a more extensive list, please see our Cancers Treated section. 

When would I suggest proton therapy to my patient?

Proton therapy is particularly appropriate in situations where treatment options are limited and conventional radiotherapy presents unacceptable risks or side effects to patients. The following key criteria can be used to evaluate whether proton therapy would be appropriate for your patient:
• Solid, localized tumors
• Proximity to critical structures or vital organs
• Recurrent malignancy
• Exhaustion of other treatment options

The primary tumors treated with protons are listed in the Cancers Treated section of this website. In addition, promising results in treating other tumor sites are being reported.

Do you have literature on the effectiveness of proton therapy?

Yes, you can download information from this website on the effectiveness of proton therapy for certain disease types. In addition, please see the Clinical Literature section of this website.

Do you conduct research or clinical trials?

SCCA Proton Therapy, in collaboration with its partners, continues to support and conduct research the effectiveness and cost efficacy of proton therapy treatment. A variety of clinical trials are open to patients at SCCA Proton Therapy. Please see individual trials on the Cancers Treated pages.

How do I refer a patient?

Please call our Center at 1-855-528-7248. Our Patient Navigators can help you make arrangements for a consultation with your patient. If your patient is a good candidate for proton therapy, our Care Team will make sure you stay informed about your patient’s treatment and follow-up. We will let you know if your patient is not a good candidate for proton therapy and will gladly work with you to find other treatment options.

Will you keep me informed about my patient’s progress?

Yes, we will update you periodically and send you a treatment summary at the end of therapy.

Will my patient be able to undergo concurrent therapies?

Yes, in many cases proton therapy can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and other treatments. Our doctors can discuss this with you when your patient is approved for proton therapy.

What information can I provide to my patient on proton therapy?

You can download patient-oriented information on proton therapy on the Proton Therapy page of this website. You can also direct them to visit this site, as it has much useful information for patients.