Newswise — SEATTLE - Physicians treating patients with complex tumors will have more advanced treatment options at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center. The Center is revolutionizing the way proton therapy is used in cancer treatment and has recently made a number of additional investments in innovative technology that will empower its care teams to treat tumors more precisely. An advanced form of radiation treatment, proton therapy delivers a targeted dose of radiation to kill cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissues. Building on this treatment delivery, the Center will now offer Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) in its state of the art gantry room. The combination of proton therapy with PBS technology enables physicians to better shape and direct radiation to the tumor, opening the doors to treat a wider variety of cancers.

“PBS is the most advanced way to deliver proton radiation and will allow us to sculpt protons for treating more complex tumors, such as in the head and neck, lung, abdomen, and pelvic areas,” said Smith ‘Jim’ Apisarnthanarax, MD, a radiation oncologist at SCCA Proton Therapy.

SCCA Proton Therapy has also recently become the first proton center to use an advanced breath hold device that aids patients in their ability to control breathing during radiation treatment. The Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC™) device may be used when treating tumors in the chest or abdomen that move with breathing. The ABC™ device assists patients with systematically holding their breath before or after they’ve breathed out. During this brief time, the ABC™ device makes the tumor a stationary target, allowing the treatment to be even more accurate, sparing surrounding tissue. The ABC™ device’s ability to control breath both on inhale and exhale allows physicians to treat a range of tumors.

In addition, UW Medicine physicians and SCCA Proton Therapy physicists are working together to upgrade the process for developing PBS patient treatment plans with, RaySearch Laboratories‘ advanced treatment-planning and dose-tracking software platform, RayStation. The RayStation system is built on the latest software architecture and has a graphic user interface for ease of use. RayStation combines the capabilities of traditional imaging such as CTs, PETs, and MRIs, with contouring and 4D compatibility. Unique features include multi-criteria optimization, dose tracking, treatment adaptation, and near real time deformable image registration.

“Providing patients with the best treatment possible is our number one priority and we believe investing in these advancements allows us to provide them with the highest levels of care,” said Ramesh Rengan, MD, medical director at SCCA Proton Therapy. “These innovative technologies will make treatments more effective for patients, while shortening the overall treatment course for select cancers.” The combination of these investments in technologies means that the Pacific Northwest will continue to have access to important cancer treatment options. Pencil Beam Scanning, Active Breathing Coordinator, and the RayStation System capabilities together allow SCCA Proton Therapy radiation oncologists to use protons in a more precise way when to treating certain tumors.

For more information on RaySearch Laboratories and the RayStation treatment planning system, visit

For more information on SCCA Proton Therapy, visit


About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure CenterSeattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A Procure Center is a cancer treatment center that uses precisely targeted radiation to treat cancer while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Proton therapy is an advanced form of treatment that allows doctors to focus radiation directly into the tumor, reducing the potential for side effects. Protons are beneficial in treating a broad range of tumors, including those of the brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, breast, lung, and prostate, as well as sarcomas and certain pediatric cancers. A collaborative effort between Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and ProCure Treatment Centers, SCCA Proton Therapy unites top physician experts in cancer from UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. SCCA Proton Therapy is located on UW Medicine's Northwest Hospital & Medical Center campus and is the only proton therapy center in a seven-state region. For more information about proton therapy, visit or follow SCCA Proton Therapy on Twitter @SCCAProtons and Facebook.