History of Proton Therapy

The study of protons dates back to the early 1900s. The acceleration of protons has evolved from testing the limits of nuclear physics to effective medical therapy.

It was not until 1946 that Robert R. Wilson, a professor of physics at Harvard University, first proposed using proton acceleration for the treatment of cancer.

Proton therapy has been used to treat tumors for nearly 60 years and in 1988, proton therapy received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of cancers.

Dr. Andrew Lee, medical director of Texas Center for Proton Therapy, was the first physician to treat patients with spot-scanning proton therapy in North America, commonly known as pencil-beam scanning. Pencil-beam scanning enables greater conformality in tumor treatments compared to traditional proton beam therapy.
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