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What's so special about PBS?

What's so special about PBS?

When you Google proton therapy, you frequently come across the words Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS). PBS, also known as spot scanning, is an innovative form of proton therapy that uses a series of small proton beams to paint the tumor with spots of radiation like a pointillist paints a picture, until the entire tumor is covered.

What’s so special about it? PBS can further improve the precision of proton beam therapy by reducing radiation exposure to critical organs and body structures near the treatment area. Since PBS increases the targeting precision of proton therapy, it can be used to treat some of the most challenging tumors with reduced risk of side-effects.

“This is an evolution in proton treatments,” says Jason Dixon, VP of Operations at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. “It can both decrease treatment time and increase flexibility for treatment delivery.” For certain cancer treatments, PBS has reduced the time to treat patients by more than half.

At SCCA Proton Therapy Center, we are fortunate to offer both PBS and Uniform Scanning technologies, giving Radiation Oncologists a variety of treatment approaches so that treatments can be customized for each patient.

“The next steps in proton therapy will be the addition of apertures for PBS to make those pencil beams even sharper at the treatment field edges,” says Jason. “SCCA Proton Therapy Center offers the only proton therapy treatment option in the region, and we’re happy to provide this to our patients.”