The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute is committed to advancing the treatment of bone tumors – including osteosarcoma – with proton therapy.

A subset of sarcoma, osteosarcomas (or tumors that arise from bone) can occur at any age, and sometimes affect children. Treatment of osteosarcoma requires a careful and precise method of treatment to reduce the risk of side effects and contribute to a successful outcome for both adult patients and pediatric cancer patients.

In cases of osteosarcoma where complete surgical removal of the tumor is not possible, high-dose radiation is the treatment of choice and the best results are observed following proton therapy. Unlike other types of radiation, proton therapy targets osteosarcoma with a precise beam of protons, delivering a highly effective dose to the bone cancer while sparing surrounding healthy tissues.

Potentially higher doses of radiation and a low incidence of side effects are also what give proton therapy an advantage in Ewing sarcoma, another tumor arising from bone. Over the past decade, researchers from the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute have published multiple landmark papers on the use of proton therapy in Ewing sarcoma. (PMID 32437922, 31736243). In cases where complete removal of bone sarcoma is not possible, proton therapy may be used to treat tumors without exposing surrounding tissues to high doses of radiation. This is particularly important for younger patients, where even low doses of radiation may result in significant late complications.

Ask your doctor about proton therapy for bone tumors, or contact the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute to learn more.


Figure 1: Axial (A), coronal (B), and sagittal (C) images of 10-year old child with a skull base Ewing sarcoma treated with proton therapy. Using this technique, the radiation dose to the eye, central face, and brain was minimized.

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Proton therapy is effective in treating many cancer types.

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