Proton therapy. A new level of precision against tumors.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that’s capable of achieving remarkable precision when killing cancer cells. Its level of accuracy is such that the radiation can be precisely directed to stop exactly on a tumor and go no further, sparing healthy tissues and surrounding organs. The Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care recognized the value of this breakthrough therapy from the very beginning. In 2012, we established an alliance with the only proton therapy center in the area. As a result, our specialists were able to offer proton therapy years before most other cancer centers in the nation. In 2019, we became founding partners in developing the first proton center in New York City, offering the latest form of proton therapy.
How Proton Therapy Works
Protons are subatomic particles with a positive charge that makes them controllable. This means a proton beam can be “instructed” to target extremely specific areas without affecting anything it hasn’t been programmed to target. Its efficient precision is noninvasive and the beam causes no physical sensation to the patient during treatment. As proton therapy is a fairly new treatment, we conducted our own study to help establish criteria for identifying best patient candidates. Our key consideration when determining candidates is a patient’s quality of life after treatment. Since proton therapy minimizes organ damage, it’s highly recommended for children, as their organs are still in the development stage. In our 2018 article published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, we show that on average, proton therapy significantly spares uninvolved glands near the tumor.
The Most Advanced Form of Proton Therapy
We use the latest form of proton therapy, known as pencil beam technology. Most proton centers use volumetric beams in which a specified amount of radiation is delivered to the entire tumor. Pencil beam scanning is so precise, it’s able to conform its radiation doses to the exact size and shape of the tumor, without touching anything around or beyond the tumor, which is why pencil beam therapy is highly recommended for treating pediatric cancers.
Other benefits using pencil beam proton therapy:
- It can deliver a higher, more effective treatment dose with minimum risk to surrounding tissue
- The side effects associated with conventional radiation are less likely to occur
A Leading-Edge Option for Complex Challenges
Compared with conventional radiation treatment, pencil beam proton therapy is uniquely appropriate for some of the most challenging tumor locations. This includes tumors located near vital organs in the brain, spine, head and neck, or chest. The precision of the proton beam is highly effective with treating tumors that are:
- Irregularly shaped
- Wrapped around critical organs
- Difficult to reach
- Recurring following prior treatment
Proton Therapy with the Montefiore Einstein Advantage
Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care has a unique team approach to supporting patients throughout treatment. We provide highly trained and experienced specialists for each patient’s specific cancer, but also assign a multi-specialist team around the patient’s other health needs. In other words, our patient care pathways aren’t built just around the cancer, but around the well-being of the entire patient.
We can do this because, unlike many cancer centers, we’re part of a full-service, complete care health system. Our specialist teams include experts chosen to manage health issues beyond the cancer, working closely as a team with our proton specialists.
Our expertise in proton therapy is expansive. As one of the first in the tristate area to offer proton therapy, we currently have 23 physicists and 13 physicians treating patients at the recently completed New York Proton Center. Through the New York Proton Center, we’re able to provide patients with the most advanced form of proton therapy in a convenient, modern, state-of-the-art setting. Our founding partnership with the New York Proton Center ensures that a Montefiore Einstein proton physician and specialist will be at your side throughout your therapy.
We Are a National Leader in Cancer Research
Our leadership in research and science has helped develop several breakthroughs, ranging from using T-cells as soldiers to fight cancer to carbon ion therapy for deep-seated, radiation-resistant tumors in pancreatic cancer. Our extensive research gives patients a chance to opt-in to upcoming clinical trials, which may offer potentially successful treatment options. We’re currently involved in over 270 active trials.
We’ve Been Consistently Recognized by the Most Respected Organizations in Cancer Care
Accreditations and Award-Winning Recognition
- U.S.News & World Report has ranked us one of the nation’s best, placing us in the top 1 percent of hospitals in the United States for complex specialty care in cancer.
- With only 71 designated NCI Cancer Centers in the United States, we’re honored to be one of them. We were third in the nation to receive NCI accreditation and have been continuously accredited since 1971.
- We’re recipients of the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award with Gold Level Commendation. Only 6 percent of all cancer programs have received this recognition. Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care has received this award for five consecutive cycles.
Our Ongoing Commitment to Our Patients
Making sure our patients have access to the latest innovations in cancer care made proton therapy a must-have for the region. This commitment resulted in our partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mt. Sinai to build the New York Proton Center. Montefiore is proud to be one of the partners that made this dream a reality.
To inquire about a Proton Therapy consultation, call: 718-920-7750
Meet our specialists in Proton Therapy
Appointments available at:
New York Proton Center
225 East 126th Street, New York, NY 10035
Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care
Department of Radiation Oncology
111 East 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467
Montefiore Medical Park
1625 Poplar Street, Bronx, NY 10461
Montefiore Yonkers Radiation Oncology
970 North Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701