MGH Main Web
Neurosurgery HomeNeurosurgery HomeNeurosurgery and Affiliates
Proton Beam
Neurosurgery Home
- About Us
- Diseases Treated
- Clinical Centers
- Referrals
- People
- Grand Rounds
- Education
- News, etc.
- Publications
- History
- Support Groups
- Links
- Appointments
- Contact Us
- Search NS Web
Neurosurgery Web Sites
- Neurosurgery Home
- Research Home
- Residency Home
- Alumni Home
Mass General Hospital Web

Proton Beam Radiosurgery (Neurosurgery)

Font Size: [+] [-]

The Proton Beam Unit was founded in 1962 and has the largest experience with stereotactic radiosurgery of any center in the United States. Information regarding non-invasive proton beam radiosurgery and fractionated radiosurgery for brain and spinal tumors and arteriovenous malformations.

The Purpose of this Center is to provide a complete range of services for the diagnosis, and treatment with non-invasive proton beam radiosurgery and fractionated radiosurgery for brain and spinal tumors and arteriovenous malformations. Patients may be referred for consultation only, care in partnership with referring physician, or complete management.
Bragg Peak Proton Beam Radiosurgery Unit - The Proton Beam Unit was founded in 1962 and has the largest experience with stereotactic radiosurgery of any center in the United States. Proton beam offers certain theoretical advantages over other modalities of stereotactic radiosurgery (i.e. gamma knife and linear accelerators) because it makes use of the quantum wave properties of protons to reduces doses to surrounding tissue beyond the target to a theoretical minimum of zero. In practice, the proton facility offers advantages for the treatment of unusually shaped brain tumors and arteriovenous malformations. The homogeneous doses delivered also makes fractionated therapy possible. Proton beam radiosurgery also has the ability to treat tumors outside of the cranial cavity. These properties make it the ideal post-resection therapy for many chordomas and certain chondrosarcomas of the spine and skull base as well as an excellent mode of therapy for many other types of tumors.

HCL: The Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory (HCL) has now closed. The 'Particles Newsletters' have been transfered to the MGH PTCOG web and the main PSI-PTCOG system.

NPTC: Information, proton radiosurgery treatments and support services have been transfered to the new The Northeast Proton Therapy Center (NPTC). Located on the main hospital campus of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the NPTC represents the forefront of technological advancement in radiation therapy. The construction of the facility was jointly funded by the hospital and the National Cancer Institute to meet the increasing medical demand for high precision radiation therapy provided by proton therapy. The program builds on more than forty years of pioneering work and experience gained by the physicians, physicists, and clinical support personnel at Harvard University's Cyclotron Laboratory where more than nine thousand patients were treated with proton therapy from 1961 to it's closing in 2002.
  • Proton Radiosurgery Brochure [217k pdf]
  • NPTC Brochure [2.4 MB pdf]
  • [Divider]

    Selected Publications

    • Rabinov JD, Brisman JL, Cole AJ, Lee PL, Bussiere MR, Chapman PH, Loeffler JS, Cosgrove GR, Chaves T, Gonzalez RG.: MRI changes in the rat hippocampus following proton radiosurgery. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2004;82(4):156-64.
    • Brisman JL, Cole AJ, Cosgrove GR, Thornton AF, Rabinov J, Bussiere M, Bradley-Moore M, Hedley-Whyte T, Chapman PH.: Radiosurgery of the rat hippocampus: magnetic resonance imaging, neurophysiological, histological, and behavioral studies. Neurosurgery. 2003 Oct;53(4):951-61; discussion 961-2.
    • Weber DC, Chan AW, Bussiere MR, Harsh GR 4th, Ancukiewicz M, Barker FG 2nd, Thornton AT, Martuza RL, Nadol JB Jr, Chapman PH, Loeffler JS.: Proton beam radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma: tumor control and cranial nerve toxicity. Neurosurgery. 2003 Sep;53(3):577-86; discussion 586-8.
    • Barker FG 2nd, Butler WE, Lyons S, Cascio E, Ogilvy CS, Loeffler JS, Chapman PH.: Dose-volume prediction of radiation-related complications after proton beam radiosurgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformations. J Neurosurg. 2003 Aug;99(2):254-63.
    • Harsh GR, Thornton AF, Chapman PH, Bussiere MR, Rabinov JD, Loeffler JS.: Proton beam stereotactic radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Sep 1;54(1):35-44.
    • Barker FG 2nd, Amin-Hanjani S, Butler WE, Lyons S, Ojemann RG, Chapman PH, Ogilvy CS.: Temporal clustering of hemorrhages from untreated cavernous malformations of the central nervous system. Neurosurgery. 2001 Jul;49(1):15-24; discussion 24-5.
    • Chapman PH, Tarbell: Proton beam therapy. In: Pediatric Neurosurgery. Surgery of the Developing Nervous System, 4th ed. Ed: McLone DG: WB Saunders: Philadelphia, pp. 1255-1262, 2001.
    • Loeffler JS, Singer RJ, Chapman PH, Ogilvy CS: Proton-beam radiation therapy. In: LINAC and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. Ed: Germano IM. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Park Ridge, IL, pp. 71-74, 2000.
    • Harsh G, Loeffler JS, Thornton A, Smith A, Bussiere M, Chapman PH: Stereotactic Proton Radiosurgery. Neurosurg Clin N Am 1999; 10:243-256.
    • Tatter SB, Butler WE, Chapman PH. Technical and clinical aspects of proton-beam stereotactic radiosurgery. In: Textbook of Stereotactic and functional Neurosurgery. Eds: Gildenberg PL, Tasker RR. McGraw-Hill, New York pp. 705-710, 1998.
    • Serago CF, Thornton AF, Urie MM, Chapman P, Verhey L, Rosenthal SJ, Gall KP, Niemierko A: Comparison of proton and x-ray conformal dose distributions for radiosurgery applications. Med Phys 22:2111-16, 1995.
    • Butler WE, Ogilvy CS, Chapman PH, Verhy L , Zervas NT. "Stereotactic alignment for Bragg peak radiosurgery." In Radiosurgery: Baseline and Trends, ed. L. Steiner. 85-91. New York: Raven Press, 1992.
    • Chapman PH, Ogilvy CS , Butler WE. "A new stereotactic alignment system for charged-particle radiosurgery at the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory, Boston." In Stereotactic Radiosurgery, ed. Eben Alexander III, Jay S. Loeffler, and L. Dade Lunsford. 105-108. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
    • De Salles AA, Asfora WT, Abe M, Kjellberg RN: Transposition of target information from the magnetic resonance and computed tomography scan images to conventional X-ray stereotactic space. Applied Neurophysiology 50: 23-32, 1987.
    • Gall KP, Verhey LJ, Wagner M: Computer-assisted positioning of radiotherapy patients using implanted radiopaque fiducials. Medical Physics 20: 1153-9, 1993.
    • Kjellberg RN, Hanamura T, Davis KR, Lyons SL , Adams RD: Bragg-peak proton-beam therapy for arteriovenous malformations of the brain. New England Journal of Medicine 309: 269-74, 1983.
    • Kjellberg RN, Shintani A, Frantz AG, Kliman B: Proton-beam therapy in acromegaly. New England Journal of Medicine 278: 689-95, 1968.
    • Urie MM, Fullerton B, Tatsuzaki H, Birnbaum S, Suit HD, Convery K, Skates , Goitein M: A dose response analysis of injury to cranial nerves and/or nuclei following proton beam radiation therapy. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 23: 27-39, 1992.
    p-home2.GIF (7448 bytes) Referrals  |  Information   |  Publications  |  Links

    Information on the
    Cyclotron Proton Beam,
    Neurosurgical Radiosurgery Unit

    Paul H. Chapman, M.D.
    Languages: English, Arabic, German

    For referrals or more information contact:
    Louise B. Hanscom
    Proton Radiosurgery Group
    Neurosurgical Service
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Parkman Street
    Boston, Massachusetts 02114
    Phone:  617.726.3887

    Note: For information about proton beam treatment for prostate cancer contact:
    Anthony Zietman, M.D.
    Tel: 617.724.1158

    Note: For information about proton beam treatment for skull base chordomas contact:
    Norbert Liebsch, M.D.
    Tel: 617.726.6876
    Email: office contact
    Note: For information about proton beam treatment for spine chordomas contact:
    Thomas F. DeLaney, M.D.
    Tel: 617.726.7869
    Fax: 617.724-9532

    Local Emergency
    Neurosurgical Hotline

    US News Home
    National and
    International Referrals
    Neurosurgery @ MGH
    Neurosurgical Spine
    Referral Line
    Mass General Hospital
    Neurosurgical Service
    General Hospital
    55 Fruit Street
    Gray 502
    Boston, MA 02114
    NeurosurgeryS @ MGHNeurosurgical Service @ MGHDiagnosis @ MGH
    Disclaimer About Medical Information: The information and reference materials contained herein is intended solely for the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient's own physician. All visitors to this and associated sites from the Neurosurgical Service at MGH agree to read and abide by the the complete terms of legal agreement found at the Neurosurgery "disclaimer & legal agreement." See also: the MGH Disclaimer, the MGH Privacy Policy, and the MGH Interactive Program Disclaimer - Copyright 2010 MGH Neurosurgical Service - All Rights Reserved. System Info Contact: C.Owen
    electronswebs Neurosurgery@MGH IntraNet MGH Acute Stroke Service
    (617) 726-2241 beeper #34282
    Neurosurgery @ MGH MassGeneralWeb Partners Health Care Harvard Medical School Neurosurgery @ MGH MassGeneralWeb Partners Health Care Harvard Medical School