Proton Therapy for Tumors of the Skull Base

Treat skull base tumors while sparing healthy tissue

In the past, treatments for skull base tumors have been complicated by their close proximity to the brainstem, spinal cord and optic nerves. Exposure to X-ray radiation can affect your vision, hearing, taste, ability to eat and cognitive function. That’s why the proton therapy’s precise, targeted radiation offers benefits over other treatments.

With proton therapy, our expert physicians can apply a concentrated dose of radiation to tumors that form at the skull’s base or top of the spinal cord, limiting harm to the vital, healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

proton therapy for skull base tumor versus photon radiation

Comparison image – Proton Therapy is on the left, Photon Therapy is on the right

Skull base tumors we treat with proton therapy

Benign skull base tumors:

  • Acoustic neuromas (also called vestibular schwannomas)
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Glomus tumors
  • Meningiomas
  • Neuromas (trigeminal neuromas, vagal schwannomas)
  • Neurofibromas
  • Pituitary adenoma

Cancerous skull base tumors:

  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Carcinomas
  • Chordomas
  • Esthesioblastomas
  • Mucosal melanomas
  • Sarcomas

Proton therapy for recurrent skull base tumors

If you have a recurrent tumor of the skull base that has previously been treated with radiation therapy, traditional x-ray radiation is generally not possible because the area around your tumor can only tolerate a limited amount of radiation over a lifetime. Proton therapy, however, can be safe to use in many cases, as it can provide an optimal dose of radiation to your skull base tumor while protecting surrounding areas. This puts radiation back on the table as a treatment option for recurrent skull base tumors.

Learn more about proton therapy

Request a consultation below to learn if proton therapy might benefit you. Our physicians will work with you and your care team to create your personalized treatment plan.

Many patients who have skull base tumors will need to have a mask created to help them keep their head, neck and shoulders still and in the same position during each treatment. To learn about a special tradition MPTC has for masks, please click here.

Is Proton Therapy Right For Me?

Proton Therapy for Pediatric Patients

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