UH Proton Therapy Center

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Ohio’s first proton therapy center.

1 of 24

There are now 24 proton therapy centers operating in the United States and 12 centers are under construction.

Proton therapy

is able to apply highly targeted radiation treatments for many pediatric patients and adult cancer patients with localized malignancies, particularly in the brain and spine.


UH Rainbow established one of the first freestanding pediatric sedation units and is a leader in IV based sedative medicine for radiation.


Proton therapy is a highly advanced technique that allows radiation oncologists to target tumors with the maximum cancer-destroying capabilities of radiation while decreasing dose to healthy tissue and organs. Proton therapy is an effective treatment option for adults and children with specific types of cancer.

UH Seidman Cancer Center and the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, use the next generation of proton beam delivery systems – the MEVION S250 from Mevion Medical Systems. This is a first-of-its-kind, compact model that more efficiently and cost-effectively delivers powerful cancer-fighting proton beam radiation therapy.

Proton Therapy room

UH’s Proton Therapy Center is the only center in the world that is 100 feet from a full-service, nationally ranked children’s hospital – UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, whose patients in the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute will benefit from the close proximity. The center is also less than 500 feet from UH Seidman Cancer Center, where patients with cancers of the brain, head, neck, spine and lung can also access treatment.

The MEVION S250 system combines the most advanced proton therapy technologies available today – ensuring safe, effective treatment delivery.

  • DirectDose™ beam-modulating technology meticulously shapes and regulates the proton therapy beams, conforming them to the exact treatment plan.
  • Precise positioning of the six-degree robotic couch allows the patient to be positioned at the optimal treatment angle.
  • Patient positioning is confirmed through the image guidance system prior to each treatment session.

UH’s MEVION S250 features a unique single-room system that is significantly smaller and more economical than first-generation proton therapy technology, while delivering the same powerful cancer-fighting radiation therapy.

The entire unit fits into a three-story space that is 40 feet wide by 40 feet long and 40 feet tall – a fraction of the space needed for traditional proton therapy units.

Fighting Cancer at University Hospitals

With the addition of advanced proton therapy, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center joins an elite few in the nation to offer every radiation therapy technology available to fight cancer, including Synergy-S Hexapod, Cyberknife, and Perfexion Gamma Knife. Photon beam therapy currently is the most common form of radiation therapy and remains the standard of care for most adult cancer radiotherapy.

UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, is the only freestanding cancer center in Northeast Ohio and is a national leader in cancer research and reatment. The Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, fully integrated with UH Seidman Cancer Center, is one of the nation’s leading centers for teen and young adult cancer care.

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The Proton Treatment Difference

Traditional radiation therapy uses photon (X-ray) beams, which are highly effective for a broad variety of cancers. Photons pass into the patient to the tumor and then exit through the patient. However, photons’ lack of charge and mass means that most of their energy is deposited in normal tissues near the body’s surface, as well as areas of the body beyond the site of the cancer.

With proton therapy, heavy, charged particles penetrate the tumor, but then they stop. Because protons are energized to specific velocities, the radiation oncologist can determine how deeply in the body they will deposit their maximum energy. The elimination of the exit dose for passively scattered proton beams results in greatly reduced low and intermediate doses to normal tissues.

Protons are most successful in treating solid tumors with well-defined borders that have not spread. It is most often used for tumors of the brain, head, neck, lungs and spine. Due to the decrease in unnecessary dose to normal tissues, children and young adults stand to benefit the most from this type of radiation therapy.

Benefits of proton therapy include:

  • Noninvasive, painless, outpatient procedure
  • Many patients are able to enjoy normal daily activities throughout treatment
  • Less radiation to healthy tissue
  • Can be used with chemotherapy or surgery, as needed
  • May lower risk for radiation-induced secondary cancers, developmental delays and growth abnormalities among children and young adults 
  • Sedation can be used during proton therapy treatment sessions, if needed


PHOTON Illustration


PROTON Illustration

The Delivery Technology

Proton therapy is currently available in 24 locations in the United States. Traditional proton therapy systems cost upwards of $200-300 million to build and are typically the size of a football field. The cost, size and complexity of these conventional proton therapy systems have greatly limited their widespread clinical use.

For more information about the UH Proton Therapy Center, please call 216-286-PROT or visit UHhospitals.org/Proton.