Proton therapy is effective in treating many types of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.

GI tract tumors most appropriate for proton therapy
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Rectum
  • Anal canal

Treatment for GI tract tumors often requires a combination of radiation therapy and either chemotherapy or surgery. The combination of these therapies can be difficult for patients to tolerate. In some cases, standard radiation isn’t a viable treatment option for patients because it would cause too much damage to healthy tissues and organs near the tumor. For these patients, proton therapy can be an effective treatment option because protons deposit more energy directly to the tumor and significantly reduce the radiation dose to healthy tissues.1 Patients treated with proton therapy for GI tract tumors often experience few side effects.2,3


  1. Fowler JF. What can we expect from dose escalation using proton beams? Clin Oncol. 2003;15(1):S10-S15.

  2. Zhang X, Zhao K, Guerrero TM, et al. Four-dimensional computed tomography-based treatment planning for intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton therapy for distal esophageal cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;72(1):278-287.

  3. Komatsu S, Hori Y, Fukumoto T, Murakami M, Hishikawa Y, Ku Y. Surgical spacer placement and proton radiotherapy for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol. 2010;16(14):1800-1803.

  4. Meyer JJ, Czito BG, Willett CG. Particle radiation therapy for gastrointestinal malignancies. Gastrointest Cancer Res. 2007;1(suppl 2):S50-S59.

Treatment-planning studies for esophageal cancer found that the more precise dose delivered with proton therapy reduced the likelihood of lung complications.2

One of the most promising benefits of proton therapy for anal cancer is its ability to deliver a higher dose of radiation to the tumor, providing better tumor control than X-rays.4

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