Proton Therapy for Brain Tumors

Tumors of the brain are classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign brain tumors may need to be treated because they can cause serious health problems by pressing on sensitive areas of the brain or may become malignant over time.

Malignant tumors are classified as brain cancer if they originate in the brain or have spread to the brain from cancers in other parts of the body. Because the brain is so complex, treatment to this area can have long-term implications for the nervous system or other organs. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, we recommend learning about all your treatment options before making a decision.

Proton therapy can be particularly beneficial for brain tumor patients. Since the brain is in close proximity to many critical organs, structures, and other parts of the nervous system, the ability of protons to precisely target the tumor makes proton therapy at the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center a particularly effective treatment option for many brain tumors.

Proton therapy may be appropriate for the following types of brain tumors:

  • Low-grade gliomas
  • Grade III gliomas
  • Recurrent glioblastoma (on clinical trial)
  • Meningiomas
  • Chordomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Medulloblastomas5
  • Pineoblastomas
  • Supratentorial PNET
  • Germ cell tumors

The Northwestern Medicine Proton Center is one of the few proton therapy centers throughout the Midwest and the first one in Illinois. Our team is dedicated to explaining all of your treatment options for brain cancer and facilitating a conversation with you and your physician or oncologist to determine the best course of treatment for you.

To learn if you can benefit from proton therapy, call 1.877.887.5807 or fill out our online form.

Request Appointment
Cancer Video
Watch a Video: Proton Therapy for Brain Tumors Hazeezat Makinde’s brain tumor was in a sensitive location so proton therapy was the perfect treatment option for her because of its accuracy and precision. To learn more about other tumor types, visit our Video Library.
Three brain scan comparisons

Comprehensive Treatment Options for Brain Tumors

The Northwestern Medicine Proton Center is among the most advanced cancer treatment facilities in Illinois offering proton therapy radiation, located in Warrenville, Illinois – just 30 miles from downtown Chicago, Midway Airport and O’Hare International Airport. When treating tumors in the brain, a combination of treatments is often used.

As one part of the innovative Northwestern Medicine cancer program, the Proton Center is dedicated to helping you understand your condition and treatment options.

Northwestern Medicine Proton physician Doctor Thukral with a blonde hair patient.

Patient Stories

Read what our patients have to say about their proton therapy treatment and how proton therapy and our staff impacted their lives.

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Contact Us

To discover if you or a loved one could benefit from proton therapy, please call us at 877.887.5807 (TTY 711).

Request Appointment

What to Expect with Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is non-invasive and painless. Depending on the patient's diagnosis, treatments at the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center are usually given five days a week for a period of four to eight weeks depending on the tumor type. In most cases, patients continue with normal activities before and after treatment.

Some patients choose to work; others go on a “radiation vacation” and spend their days doing recreational activities before or after treatment.

Learn more about what to expect when getting treated.