Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Proton Beam Therapy

  • Carol L. ArmstrongEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_151


Proton radiation therapy; Proton therapy


Proton beam therapy is another form of ionizing radiation therapy used for mass cancer lesions. It was first proposed by Robert Wilson in 1946 and is increasingly available though much more expensive than photon radiotherapy. It uses subatomic particles instead of photons, and more energy is deposited in the Bragg Peak. Protons have the property of increasing the dose very gradually with increasing depth, and then rising to a peak at the end of its range (Bragg Peak), thus delivering less radiation in front of the tumor and no radiation behind the tumor. Studies have indicated it is at least as effective as photon radiotherapy and the toxic risks are no greater (Giantsoudi et al. 2016). No prospective results on cognitive functions are yet available. Early findings indicate no difference in the slope of change in IQ over time in children (Kahalley et al. 2016).

Proton beam therapy is most often used in treatment of tumors of...

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References and Readings

  1. Armstrong, C. L., Schmus, C. J., & Belasco, J. B. (2011). Neuropsychological problems in neuro-oncology. In C. L. Armstrong & L. Morrow (Eds.), Handbook of medical neuropsychology: Applications of cognitive neuroscience. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Giantsoudi, D., Sethi, R. V., Yeap, B. Y., Eaton, B. R., Ebb, D. H., Caruso, P. A., et al. (2016). Incidence of CNS injury for a cohort of 111 patients treated with proton therapy for medulloblastoma: LET and RBE associations for areas of injury. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics, 95(1), 287296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Glimelius, B., & Montelius, A. (2007). Proton beam therapy – Do we need the randomised trials and can we do them? Radiotherapy and Oncology, 83, 105–109.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Kahalley, L. S., Ris, M. D., Grosshans, D. R., Okcu, M. F., Paulino, A. C., Chintagumpala, M., et al. (2016). Comparing intelligence quotient change after treatment with proton versus photon radiation therapy for pediatric brain tumors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 34(10), 1043–1049.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA