Particle Therapy

MedAustron offers an innovative form of radiation therapy (ion beam therapy, particle therapy) using protons and carbon ions. Compared to conventional radiation therapy, this treatment is able to reduce radiation exposure to adjacent healthy tissue and spares the tissue behind the tumor almost entirely. Therefore, ion beam therapy is an optimal treatment for tumors close to radio-sensitive organs, like the brain and the spinal cord, eyes, liver and lungs. Since tissue in growth is more sensitive to radiation, proton radiation is particularly suitable for cancer in children and adolescents. The focus lies on reducing the risk of long-term consequences by minimizing dose to healthy tissue. This includes hormone and growth disorders and decreasing the risk of secondary malignancies.

The protons used for ion beam therapy are the positively charged nuclei of hydrogen atoms. They have a different physical interaction with the tissue compared to conventional radiotherapy with photons (gamma rays, X-rays) or electrons. Because ion beam therapy spares healthy tissue, higher doses of radiation can be used. Ion beam radiation is concentrated precisely on the diseased tissue and healthy tissue is largely spared, or only receives a very low dose.
(schematic representation)

Another form of treatment is ion beam therapy with carbon ions. Their biological effectiveness is about three times higher than that of protons. Thus, carbon ion beam therapy is particularly suitable for bone and soft tissue, tumors with radiation-sensitive organs nearby, slow-growing tumors, oxygen-poor tumors or local recurrences after conventional radiotherapy. Promising studies have shown that tumors resistant to conventional radiotherapy can often be treated using carbon ions. These facts help to give the fight against cancer a new, optimistic dimension.

Read about a typical course of a treatment at MedAustron and learn more about our treatment rooms.