The history of proton therapy dates
back to the year 1946.
Shortly after it became technically possible to accelerate protons, R. Wilson
suggested using this type of radiation for cancer therapy in 1946.
As the application of protons for
radiation therapy is technically challenging, it took until 1955 before the first
patients were treated in Berkeley, California, USA, and shortly after in Uppsala,
In the 1970s and 1980s further proton
and heavy ion centers became operational around the world, but none in a hospital
environment, as the required technology was not yet commercially available and suitable
for hospital use. Nevertheless, important clinical experience was collected.
The first proton therapy center in
Western Europe has been in operation at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen,
in Switzerland, since 1984.
The first hospital-based proton therapy
facility in the world became operational at LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, Loma Linda, CA (USA).