What is Proton Therapy

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Protons & Eye Cancers: The Perfect Pairing

Protons & Eye Cancers: The Perfect Pairing

Luckily, eye cancers are rare. But when they do happen, their location – in the head, near the brain - makes them uniquely suited to be treated with the precision of protons. There are many treatment options for ocular cancers, including surgery, laser and brachytherapy, depending on the size of the tumor. Proton therapy is a great option for larger tumors, or tumors near the optic nerve, because oncologists can deliver powerful doses of radiation to the tumor site, without causing unnecessary damage to surrounding tissues. Patients treated with protons can often retain their vision in the affected eye. 

Our Center ocular specialists work closely with referring ophthalmologists. Once a patient has been referred, we schedule a consultation to determine if proton therapy is the best therapy for the patient, and if protons are appropriate, we work with the referring Ophthalmologist to treat the patient. Ocular treatments often take just five days. 

For the comfort of the patient, we usually treat ocular tumors in the seated position using a specially-designed high-precision chair. Our patients initially undergo high-resolution imaging to provide our proton ocular specialists with intricate details regarding the structure of the eye tumor. In collaboration with the referring opthalmologists, a high-precision proton plan is then developed for the treatment of the eye tumor while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. Most treatments are delivered in 30 minutes or less and are painless.

Proton beam radiotherapy has been used to treat ocular melanomas for over 40 years with over 20,000 patients receiving treatment worldwide.

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