History and development History and development

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 Berkely, California, USA, and shortly after in Uppsala, Sweden.

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).