Irradiation of a malignant tumour with ionising radiation is standard in cancer therapy. Usually, one uses photon or x-rays to cause damage to cells and the genetic material of the tumour. In the future, however, proton beams are able to cover a wide range of indications, because they are particularly suitable due to their unique physical properties.
X-ray and proton beams have something in common. They can be targeted very precisely in a particular direction. The essential difference is, however, that with protons – unlike X-rays – the range is precisely controlled. This is due to the fundamentally different physical properties of electromagnetic waves (X-rays) and accelerated nuclear particles (protons).