Proton Therapy for Bladder Cancer Treatment

Fight Bladder Cancer with Laser-like Precision

California Protons’ intensity-modulated pencil beam scanning technology is a highly precise form of cancer radiation treatment that enables our doctors to selectively target bladder tumors with high-dose radiation within this sensitive and challenging area.

Compared with older passive-scattering proton therapy treatment, our pencil beam scanning technology precisely delivers radiation treatment for bladder cancer within 2 millimeters and with the utmost care. We can attack bladder tumors layer by layer and minimize harmful exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. This is important for bladder cancer patients because of its location in the pelvis near sensitive structures, including gastrointestinal and reproductive organs. The reduction of radiation-related toxicity also increases the likelihood that patients can complete treatment with fewer interruptions or delays.

Proton Therapy Bladder
Cancer Treatment Details

What We Treat

  • Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma, which is the most common form of bladder cancer and starts in the cells lining the inside of the organ
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder that begins in flat thin cells found in tissue that resembles the surface of skin
  • Adenocarcinoma, which typically originates in glandular structures that secrete mucus
  • Recurrent cancer

What We Do

  • Target the tumor only
  • Protect the bowel, rectum, genitals and bone marrow
  • Maintain your quality of life during treatment
  • Reduce side effects of treatment, including fatigue and damage to gastrointestinal and reproductive organs
  • Lower the risk of secondary cancer due to radiation

Benefits of Proton Therapy for Bladder Cancer

  • Our pencil beam scanning technology precisely controls protons to place the Bragg peak—the point at which they deposit their maximum energy—directly in the bladder tumor. This allows us to treat more complex tumor shapes and vary the dose within the tumor.
  • Advanced proton therapy allows doctors to more selectively deliver high-dose radiation to cancerous bladder tumors and tissues, and reduce the dose to surrounding healthy tissues and critical organs. In some cases, this has been shown to deliver higher cure rates than X-ray radiation treatment even in some of the most challenging situations.
  • Reduced radiation to healthy tissues around the bladder can minimize damage to healthy gastrointestinal and reproductive organs, such as the prostate, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. This is important as damage to these sensitive structures can have significant side effects and may lead to secondary cancers.
  • Our pencil beam scanning technology also reduces radiation to bone marrow, which can reduce treatment-related fatigue and damage to the immune system.
  • Unlike with older technology, the treatment plan can be loaded into the computer and completed within a matter of minutes. Treatments are also noninvasive and convenient so patients can get back to their daily activities quicker.

Bladder Cancer
Stages & Treatment


Depending on the stage and type of bladder cancer, some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for some bladder tumors may be needed. Treatment options are also affected by age, overall health and personal preferences.

Treatment for
Recurrent Bladder Cancer

Proton therapy is often the best way to treat recurrent tumors in areas that have previously been treated with radiation therapy.

Treating previously irradiated areas can be challenging. The healthy tissues around the recurrent tumor do not fully “forget” the previous radiation dose, and any added dose continues to increase the risk of normal tissue injury. Proton beam therapy enables doctors to better concentrate the dose to the target and limit it elsewhere, allowing re-treatment with radiation in select patients.

Bladder Cancer Treatment Outcomes
& Long-Term Effects

Proton therapy treatment for bladder cancer at California Protons Cancer Therapy Center in San Diego may offer similar outcomes to standard X-ray radiation, while reducing long-term and potentially life-threatening side effects due to radiation damage to gastrointestinal and reproductive organs. It also offers the possibility of lower chances for secondary cancers later in life due to the reduced radiation exposure to your surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

However, all cancer treatments have advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to discuss all of the potential risks, as well as treatment options, with your oncologist.

About Proton Therapy

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