Proton Therapy Research
Research Projects

Proton Therapy Research Projects

The research scientists and clinicians who make up Proton Therapy Research at Cincinnati Children's aim to develop and use proton radiation as a tool to treat various human ailments.

Our team consists of almost 50 people, including scientists, radiation physicists, clinicians, research assistants, graduate students and others spanning the Division of Nephrology, Oncology, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Neurology, and Radiation Oncology at Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati.

Researchers conduct basic, translational and clinical research to bring their cellular or animal model samples to the Proton Therapy Center. Working alongside our team, which includes physicists and biologists, they set up their experiments and treat their samples with proton radiation. They analyze their samples before and after irradiation, make observations, and collect data.

Radiation therapy is widely used in the treatment of cancer patients. Proton radiation therapy is advanced and precise, delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing the healthy tissues and organs nearby. This leads to a lower risk of short-term side effects and long-term complications. Although proton radiation therapy is already in use, there is still more to learn and fine tune. Our researchers are studying proton radiation dosing and delivery, including the novel and pre-clinical ultra-high dose rate FLASH, as well as treatment in different types of tissues and organs. The work they are doing results in a better understanding of the capabilities of proton radiation and can be translated into better patient treatments.

Our researchers are very active. Our basic and translational researchers complete approximately 50-60 irradiations a year. Our clinical researchers completed the first in human clinical trial of FLASH therapy in 2020-2021 and are now preparing for the second. Our researchers go on to present their data and findings at conferences and publish manuscripts in high profile journals. We have received funding from industry partners, private foundations, and federal agencies.