Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2019. Vol. 64. No. 2. P. 11–22

DOI: 10.12737/article_5ca5a0173e4963.18268254

A.P. Chernyaev1, G.I. Klenov2, A.Yu. Bushmanov3, A.A. Pryanichnikov1 ,4, M.A. Belikhin1 ,4 , E.N. Lykova1

Proton Accelerators for Radiation Therapy

1. M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;
2. Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow, Russia;
3. A.I. Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center, Moscow, Russia;
4. The Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Protvino, Russia

A.P. Chernyaev – Head of Dep., Dr. Sci. Phys.-Math., Prof.;
G.I. Klenov – Head of Dep., Dr. Sci. Tech.;
A.Yu. Bushmanov – First Deputy Director General, Dr. Sci. Med., Prof.;
A.A. Pryanichnikov – PhD Student, Research Engineer;
M.A. Belikhin – PhD Student, Research Engineer;
E.N. Lykova – Lecturer of Dep.


Purpose: To make an analysis (including statistical data) of accelerator equipment for proton therapy (PT) in Russia and the world; to identify the main trends and directions of development in this area.

Material and methods: Currently, proton therapy is developing rapidly in the world. Every year new proton centers are built. The number of commercial companies and research institutes, that are included in this high-tech sector, grows every year. Physicists and doctors together actively develop and introduce new ideas and technologies that are able to increase the efficiency and quality of proton therapy and also make it less costly. This review is an analysis of both publications in refereed publications, and reports made at relevant conferences and seminars. In addition, the data presented in the review are based on the information from the companies-manufacturers of equipment for proton therapy, which is open or provided for non-commercial use, with an indication of the sources.

Results: In recent years, the main trends in the development of accelerators for proton therapy are: reducing the size and weight of machines, using of active pencil scanning as a standard method of dose delivering, reducing the time spent by patients in treatment rooms, using modulated radiation intensity in proton therapy. There is a transition from the construction of multi-cabin PT centers with an annual number of patients about 1000 people (due to their high cost and need to have an infrastructure for such big number of patients), to the creation of small-sized single-cabin complexes with an annual flow of several hundred people.

Conclusion: Despite proton therapy has a good promotion and popularization activities, it is still an inaccessible method for most cancer patients with the exception of the United States, Japan and Europe. The lack of PT centers, the price per course of treatment, the lack of specialists in this area, and the attitude of most clinicians to PT as an experimental method of treatment is acute. In Russia, proton therapy does not receive enough support, despite the enormous potential and extensive experience that has been used for half a century of using PT. The last open proton center is private, and the only local manufacturer of equipment for PT exists only thanks to foreign contracts. Nevertheless, research and development continues. Moreover, the development is equal to the level of leading countries.

Key words: proton therapy, particle accelerators, cyclotron, synchrotron, Bragg curve


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For citation: Chernyaev AP, Klenov GI, Bushmanov AYu, Pryanichnikov AA, Belikhin MA, Lykova EN. Proton Accelerators for Radiation Therapy. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2019;64(2):11-22. (Russian).

DOI: 10.12737/article_5ca5a0173e4963.18268254

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