Proton Therapy Research

Loma Linda University Medical Center and the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center are committed to the continuation of proton therapy research. LLUMC Proton Treatment Center continuously designs and participates in clinical trials for patients with many kinds of cancer and non-cancerous conditions. The goal is to expand treatment capabilities so that more patients can benefit from proton therapy. Recent clinical trials led to the use of proton therapy for early stage breast cancer; now an option for women.

The Future of Proton Therapy

Basic science is at the foundation of proton therapy, and ultimately affects patient care. Research investigators studying proton therapy in combination with other forms of treatment include:

  • Microbiologists
  • Radiation biologists
  • Geneticists
  • Neurologists
  • Chemists
  • Physicists
  • and others

The researchers study the effects of proton beams and analyze radiation effects in tissues, cells, and cell components at the several laboratories within the LLUMC Proton Treatment Center

In other basic studies, physicists investigate methods to optimize proton delivery by such measures as improving or modifying control systems or changing equipment collaborations. The LLUMC Proton Treatment Center partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), using protons to study the effects of space flight in cell cultures, experimental animals, and human beings; other scientists perform translational research to ensure that these findings can be applied to patient care.

The commitment to research includes studies to develop a scanning proton beam for treating large and irregular shaped tumors. These studies lead to proton radiation treatment of larger breast and lung cancers and other large-field applications.The James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center is the home to the first Precision Patient Alignment System or robotic positioner, which calculates and adjusts the patient’s position automatically to place the treatment target precisely within one millimeter of the patient’s treatment plan. This system has increased precision and will enable the LLUMC Proton Treatment Center to increase the number of patients treated. This major upgrade was complete in 2010 and is a testament to the team’s innovative thinking, research, and continued dedication to making proton therapy available to more patients.

For information on open clinical trials or if you have additional research questions please call 1-800-PROTONS.