Proton Therapy for Sarcomas

Sarcomas are very rare types of cancer. The best-possible treatment involves experts with experience and special trained experts. Treatment for sarcoma tumors often requires a combination of radiotherapy, surgery and sometimes chemotherapy.

Sarcomas are hard to treat because they often:

  • Occur in places near important structures like the brain and spinal cord, lung, heart, stomach and bowel tissue
  • Need a higher dose of radiation than other tumor types

Proton therapy can target and conform to the shape of the tumor with more precision than other radiation therapies. Because of this, it does less damage to healthy tissue around the tumor, such as the brain, spinal cord and lungs. Patients treated with proton therapy may also experience fewer side effects.

The sarcoma tumors most appropriate for proton therapy include:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas: A type of cancer that starts in supportive tissue that holds your body together, known as the soft tissues. Examples include your muscles, fat, fibrous tissue, nerves and blood vessels.
  • Bone sarcomas: Cancer that starts in a bone is called a bone sarcoma. There are many different types of bone sarcomas, and they can happen in any of the bones of the body. The type of sarcoma depends on which bone it started in, how it looks on radiological images and what the tissue looks like under a microscope.

The Northwestern Medicine Proton Center is one of the few proton therapy centers in the Midwest and the first in Illinois. We can help you understand how proton therapy can help treat your cancer. Our team will talk with you and your physician or oncologist to help make a treatment plan for you.

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

Request Appointment
Proton Center

Research and Clinical Trials

We are committed to advancing proton therapy through research. We offer several clinical trials for eligible patients. Talk to your physician, or ask our intake team about this sarcoma specific clinical trial available at Northwestern Medicine Proton Center.

NU 23S01 Proton-Spatially Fractionated Radiotherapy and Standard Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Retroperitoneal Soft Tissue Sarcoma: This phase I/II trial studies the side effects and best dose of proton-spatially fractionated radiotherapy (P-SFRT) and to see how well it works with standard radiation therapy in treating patients with newly diagnosed retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma. Identifier: NCT06327477

Learn more about clinical trials for proton therapy.

What to Expect with Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is considered safe, noninvasive and painless. We usually give patients treatment five days a week. Sarcoma tumor treatment typically involves daily sessions over many weeks.

You can keep doing your normal activities before and after treatment. Learn more about what to expect when getting treated.

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