Infographic: Proton Beam Brain Tumor

Targeting brain tumors with precision.

Proton beam therapy destroys tumor cells while sparing healthy brain tissue.

Proton beam therapy uses energized particles to aggressively treat brain tumors, instead of x-rays used in conventional radiation therapy.

Proton beams can be targeted more precisely, allowing doctors to attack a tumor with high doses of radiation while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. This precision means fewer side effects and a much-improved quality of life post-treatment.

  • Other radiation therapies affect the tumor – and likely the tissue around it too.
  • Proton beams can help minimize collateral damage to brain or other tissue by delivering precise radiation to the affected area.
  • Proton Beam delivers high-dose radiation directly into the tumor, rendering the cancer cells unable to reproduce.

How proton beams are created from water.

  1. Hydrogen atoms are split from water molecules.
  2. The atom is modified to carry an electric charge.
  3. Protons from the atoms are sped up to 2/3 the speed of light through a synchrotron.
  4. Protons are then sent down a channel into the treatment room and precisely delivered to the tumor.

Proton beam precision shatters the cancer’s DNA.

Precision targeting:

Delivers radiation directly into the tumor, leaving surrounding tissue intact.

Destroy the entire tumor:

Intensity Modulated Pencil Beam Scanning, the most advanced proton beam therapy, conforms to the shape of the tumor. It scans across the tumor, essentially painting it with radiation.

Shattering the cancer's DNA:

Proton beam renders the cancer cells unable to reproduce.

Produced by Mayo Clinic. Sources:;