Proton Beam Therapy Program

Mayo Clinic launches Proton Beam Therapy Program

The next chapter in cancer treatment

Mayo Clinic introduces its Proton Beam Therapy Program, with treatment for patients available in new facilities in Minnesota and Arizona.

Proton beam therapy expands Mayo Clinic’s cancer care capabilities. In properly selected patients — especially children and young adults and those with cancers located close to critical organs and body structures — proton beam therapy is an advance over traditional radiotherapy.

Mayo Clinic’s Proton Beam Therapy Program differs from most other programs in the United States — it exclusively features intensity-modulated proton beam therapy with pencil beam scanning. This, the latest form of proton beam therapy, uses spot scanning to deposit streams of protons back and forth through a tumor, closely targeting the tumor and sparing healthy tissue.

Every patient’s tumor is unique. Mayo Clinic doctors and other specialists develop an individualized plan for each patient. Proton beam therapy will be the best option for certain patients and tumor types while others may benefit from a different approach — another type of radiation therapy or no radiation at all. Mayo Clinic patients have a full range of cancer treatment options.


The benefits of pencil beam proton therapy include:

  • Ability to deliver higher therapeutic doses of radiation to tumors
  • More accurate targeting of tumors
  • Lower radiation exposure to normal tissue, reducing short- and long-term side effects, including development of new cancers, thus lowering long-term care costs
  • A new treatment alternative for people with cancer recurrences who have undergone previous radiation therapy procedures
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