Proton Beam Therapy
is similar to electron beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
but proton beam radiation therapy, as the name suggest,
uses protons rather than photons. Protons are heavier
particles which make up the nuclei of atoms. Protons
deposit their energy as they begin to slow down, so
the radiation oncologist can program the linear accelerator
to have the protons slow down at the site of treatment.
Proton beam therapy is more precise than electron beam
therapy and therefore is used in delicate radiation
treatments such as those involving the spine or eye.
Proton beam therapy that is used as a prostate cancer
treatment is still relatively new and there is not yet
evidence that can conclude one form of radiation therapy
is more effective than another.