Mount Elizabeth Proton Therapy Centre

Overview

At Mount Elizabeth Proton Therapy Centre, you can get access to proton therapy, an advanced type of radiation treatment that uses protons to deliver radiation directly to the tumour to destroy cancer cells.

Also known as proton beam therapy, its advantages include:

  • Delivery of higher therapeutic doses of precise radiation to tumours
  • Lowered radiation to normal tissues, resulting in fewer side effects (e.g. secondary cancers)
  • A treatment alternative for patients who have gone through previous cancer radiation therapies

It is often used as an alternative to photon-based radiation therapy to treat tumours with complex anatomy, tumours surrounded by sensitive tissues, or childhood cancers.

Other conditions that can be treated with proton therapy include:

Learn more about proton beam therapy and how it works.

Your proton therapy treatment journey at Mount Elizabeth

Before undergoing proton therapy, our medical team at the Mount Elizabeth Proton Therapy Centre will walk you through a detailed planning process to ensure that the proton beam reaches the exact location in your body where it is required.

The treatment process involves:

  1. CT simulation

    • Before the radiation treatment begins, the patient will go through a 'simulation', in which the treatment team will measure the patient’s body and make marks where the patient will receive radiation.
    • Images of the CT scan are used to design the patient’s treatment plan and develop a 'map' for the treatment team.
    • The simulation will take approximately 1 hour and the patient should not feel any discomfort during this simulation.
  2. Technical planning

    • After the simulation, details are reviewed by physicists and medical dosimetrists. They will work closely with the radiation oncologist to determine the precise amount of radiation at the right spots, with the goal of killing the cancer while minimising radiation to surrounding healthy issue. This process is usually optimised by a treatment planning software.
  3. Clinical review and assurance

    • Once the care plans are approved by the radiation oncologist, the physicist will check the patient’s specific care plans on the proton therapy machine it was created for. Proton therapy treatment will commence once this check is completed.
  4. Set-up

    • The patient will be placed on the treatment table in the same position used for treatment simulation.
    • The therapists will align the patient’s tattoos to the lasers in the treatment room and take a set of X-ray films or do a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) to ensure an optimal positioning before commencing the proton therapy treatment.
  5. Daily treatments

    • Proton therapy treatments are given from Mondays to Fridays, typically for a number of weeks, based on the patient’s needs.
    • Each treatment typically lasts approximately 5 minutes (dependent on the treatment plan), but a 30-minute appointment is usually required for the set-up.
    • During each session, therapists could use skin marks and immoblisation devices and lasers to reproduce the treatment position. Verification of the position will be performed to ensure both the tumour position and shape is consistent before each treatment session.
  6. Consultation during and at the end of the proton therapy course

    • The radiation oncologist will meet the patient several times during and towards the end of a treatment course. These sessions will give the patient’s care team the opportunity to review the care progress, address any queries the patient may have, and plan future treatments.
  7. Follow-up care

    • Follow-up appointments will be scheduled in the weeks after the radiation treatments.
    • Patient may be asked to have additional investigation (e.g. CT, PET, or MRI scans) before these visitrs. Our specialists will monitor the recovery progress and give the patient information on follow-up care.

The typical course of treatment last weeks and would require you to receive treatment for 5 days a week. Proton beam therapy is usually painless – you would be able to resume daily activities afterward. Most patients would not require inpatient stays as a direct consequence of this therapy.

Learn more about how to prepare and what to expect during a proton therapy treatment.

Financing your proton therapy treatment

We understand that planning for cancer care can be emotional for you and your loved ones. Our team at Mount Elizabeth Proton Therapy Centre will work with you to understand any reimbursable claims and out-of-pocket payments.

1) Integrated Shield Plans

Integrated Shield Plans can cover up to $100k per year for proton therapy treatment. Please refer to the Ministry of Health's webpage for the summary and comparison of treatment coverage.

2) MediSave

Claims for radiotherapy treatments are limited to $80 – $2,800 per treatment, depending on the type of radiotherapy. (This is an indicative range only, and is subject to change. Please refer to this website for the latest information.)

Our location

We are located at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital at 38 Irrawaddy Road.

Our multidisciplinary team

You can count on our skilled and experienced team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, room technicians and support workers to utilise the latest proton beam therapy techniques and to provide a patient-centred environment at all times.

Meet our team

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