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Proton Therapy at
the Dwoskin Proton
Therapy Center

To schedule a consultation and find out if proton therapy is an option for you, call 1-844-324-HOPE (4673).

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, Sylvester's cancer experts are leading the region in researching, preventing, and treating cancer. Meet our team.

Advanced Proton
World-Class Expertise

As one of the only two NCI-designated cancer center in Florida to offer proton therapy, Sylvester brings the most advanced cancer-fighting technology available to patients right here in South Florida.

The Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center, located in downtown Miami's health district right behind UHealth Tower, is equipped with Varian's ProBeam Compact proton therapy system. The machine's unmatched accuracy allows the proton beam to enter the body with a low radiation dose and adapt to the tumor's shape and depth. As a result, you may experience fewer side effects during and after treatment than with other therapies. The proton beam treatment at the Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center uses pencil-beam scanning technology to precisely target the power of radiation against cancer cells. Its precision destroys cancer cells while significantly reducing radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissues and organs.

But having the latest technology is only part of the story. Sylvester's highly skilled cancer experts are leading the field of oncology and are not only implementing novel treatments and therapies — they're creating them. As the only academic medical center in South Florida, the collaborative, integrated team at Sylvester uses state-of-the-art technology for clinical research to find new ways to conquer and prevent cancer. Translating innovative research breakthroughs into more effective treatments remains one of Sylvester's highest priorities.

You may be a candidate for proton therapy if you have certain cancers close to sensitive organs. Sylvester's cancer specialists are trained to determine the best course of treatment for your specific cancer. If you are a patient who would benefit from proton therapy, the treatment can be administered as part of a comprehensive care plan, whether used alone or in combination with traditional radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or immunotherapy.

Types of Cancers Treated

Proton therapy can be effective in treating a variety of cancers and conditions. This type of radiation is most appropriate for cancers that are still localized, meaning the cancer cells have not yet spread and grown from the original site. Cancers that are growing close to critical or sensitive organs and tissue, such as the heart, brain, spinal cord, lungs, and other areas may be recommended for this treatment. Proton therapy can be used on early-stage and advanced cancers and can treat both malignant and benign tumors.

This type of therapy may be recommended for but is not limited to:

Benefits of Proton Therapy

The type of proton therapy available at the Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center is one of the most advanced forms of radiation therapy available today. Reduced harmful side effects and long-term complications are among the many benefits of this type of treatment.


With proton therapy, the beam surrounds and penetrates the tumor's exact location. The radiation is delivered to those cancer cells importantly reducing the dose to the surrounding normal organs. No other non-invasive radiation therapy technique can match this ability to deliver cancer-killing doses within and around tumor cells, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

Fewer side effects
and complications

Many patients treated with proton therapy experience fewer side effects. Complications that do occur can also be milder and take less time to resolve. Most patients are able to maintain a busy, active schedule with less interruption from cancer treatments and their daily life. Opting for this type of radiation may increase your chances of an improved, more enjoyable quality of life.

Safer for cancer's
youngest patients

Proton therapy is a potential option for patients of all age groups. It is especially beneficial for children and young adults. With significantly reduced radiation exposure to rapidly growing tissues and organs, children can benefit from fewer clinical and long-term side effects.


Using proton therapy, higher doses of curative radiation may be safely delivered into tumor cells. Unlike conventional X-ray therapy, treatment with proton therapy can be achieved using just two beams. Your cancer may be destroyed more effectively with a reduction of low dose spread to the rest of the body.

X-rays of proton therapy
Proton therapy can improve low-dose bath exposure with relatively unchanged high-dose conformity compared with photon therapy. The relative isodose is depicted in colorwash as per the color scale in this example.

Why Choose Sylvester?

Nationally recognized cancer care. Sylvester is one of the only two the only NCI-designated cancer center in Florida to offer proton therapy. The Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center is among the few centers that are fully integrated with National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Among just 72 NCI-designated centers, this distinction is awarded for achieving positive outcomes in patient treatment, conducting outstanding research, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

World-class collaborative team. Your dedicated Sylvester team consists of radiation oncologists and physicists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, and other specialized cancer experts. Our highly skilled physicians work in integrated, collaborative teams to offer patients a range of treatment options that lead to better outcomes and higher survival rates.

Leading-edge technology and treatment options. Sylvester's cancer experts are equipped to create a unique treatment plan for your specific cancer using state-of-the-art technology and novel therapies. From our pioneering work in MRI-guided radiation techniques to our new addition of proton beam therapy, we can precisely target cancer cells with utmost accuracy. We offer a range of advanced treatment options, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and more, to improve outcomes while preserving healthy organs and tissues.

Access to advanced clinical trials. Our radiation oncology specialists are also independent researchers. We participate in promising clinical trials, unique investigator-initiated research, and national multicenter research studies to improve tumor control and reduce side effects. At Sylvester, you will benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

More expertise in your cancer than anywhere in the region. Each of our radiation oncologists specializes in treating specific areas of cancer. In many cases, our physicians exclusively treat only certain types of cancer, giving them a distinct breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. This expertise ensures you will receive the most accurate diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care possible.


What makes proton therapy different from traditional radiation therapy?
Proton therapy does not use X-rays (high-energy light waves). Instead, the radiation treatment technique takes advantage of charged particles called protons. The protons can be delivered in a more finely targeted beam to cancer cells. As a result, potential damage to healthy cells near the tumor can more easily be avoided. Your cancer may be destroyed more effectively and in a shorter time period, with fewer short- or long-term side effects.
What types of cancers can be treated with proton beam therapy?
This type of radiation is most appropriate for cancers that are still localized, meaning the cancer cells have not yet spread and grown from the original site. Cancers that are growing close to critical or sensitive organs and tissue, such as the heart, brain, spinal cord, lungs and other areas might also benefit from this treatment option. Proton therapy, however, is now able to be considered for many types of cancer and is seen by many as essential to the advancement of cancer treatments. Your radiation oncologist can advise you if you are a possible candidate.
Is proton therapy appropriate for children with cancer?
Yes. Children are still growing, and their developing bodies are particularly sensitive to the residual effects of radiation therapy. That’s why proton beam therapy is especially beneficial in such cases. Radiation is a powerful cancer-fighting tool. The potency of radiation therapy, however, may potentially cause long-term complications and side effects in children and teens. Proton beam accuracy will minimize the exposure to healthy tissue during treatment.
Will proton therapy be covered by my health insurance?
Proton therapy is covered by Medicare and by many private plans for specific cancer treatments. For example, brain tumors and childhood cancers. It largely depends on your specific coverage plan and your exact case. Your Sylvester care team can help communicate with your insurance provider to find out if your case qualifies for approval.
What occurs prior to my treatment?
After having a discussion with your oncologist and radiation oncologist, you will be scheduled for pre-treatment planning and a simulation. During this time, we will create a detailed map of the treatment to occur, so that by treatment time, everything is ready. Part of this includes a “run-through” to determine and document the exact angles the proton beam will be targeted at, the correct dosage, and the best positioning of your body. You can ask any questions about the process and get answers so that you are a fully informed member of your care team.
What to expect during treatment time
The treatment room at the Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center looks similar other radiotherapy treatment areas. You will lie back comfortably on a flat table surface. Around you will be a circular, arched device that is part of the machine’s “gantry.” The gantry can rotate 360-degrees around a patient to position the treatment beam accurately toward the tumor. We will take X-rays right before radiation. The ray starts to ensure you are in the exact correct body position. Expect to be in the actual treatment process between 15 and 30 minutes. This can vary based on your cancer (e.g., tumor size, body location, one or multiple tumors being treated, etc.). Proton therapy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing you to go home afterward to resume daily activities.
Will I feel anything when the beam is administered?
You won’t be able to feel any sensation from the actual proton therapy beam. Your Sylvester care team may likely need to adjust your body positioning during the procedure, just to ensure total accuracy of the beam targeting the cancer site and avoiding healthy tissue. Your team will communicate with you throughout the whole experience. In the majority of cases, you will not require any anesthesia for this non-invasive treatment.
How often will I need to return?
Just like traditional radiation therapy, you can expect to receive precision therapy at the Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center at least a couple times per week, for several weeks. The specifics of your treatment plan will be determined with your care team and are based on your cancer details.
Will I feel side effects afterward?
Many patients feel a little tired afterward, but this is usually temporary. Side effects most often depend on where in your body you are receiving the treatment. Some patients report some soreness near the body area that was treated. Excessive headache, skin redness, fatigue, or problems eating or digesting food should be shared with your provider.
Can proton therapy be used along with other treatment types?
In most cases, yes, this procedure might be combined with other treatment modalities (e.g., chemo, surgery, traditional radiation therapy). Your doctor will share a recommended treatment plan for you based on getting you the best result, with the least complications. Your wishes and preferences are important to share when planning treatment with your team.