Treating Patients With Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is an effective radiation treatment for many types of tumors. Because protons can be more precisely controlled than standard X-ray radiation, they deliver a lower dose of radiation to healthy tissue, which is particularly important when a tumor is close to a critical organ or structure such as the brain or spinal cord.1-3 Patients treated with protons experience fewer short- and long-term side effects, including a decreased risk of secondary malignancies, compared with the standard forms of radiation therapy.4-6 The greater precision of proton therapy also allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered, providing better control without increased adverse effects.1,7
RTOG, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
*Biochemical failure defined using the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology criteria of 3 successive increases in PSA level with failure backdated to a point halfway between first increase and last non-increasing value.
† Local control defined as post-treatment PSA level >1 ng/mL within 2 years or subsequently increased to that level
The table above shows the results from a randomized controlled trial of 392 patients with prostate cancer. X-rays were used to provide a fixed dose of 50.4 Gy and proton therapy to provide the boost dose to either 70.2 Gy (conventional) or 79.2 Gy (high). The high dose provided significantly better freedom from biochemical failure and local control than the conventional dose and had similarly low rates of grade 3 morbidity.
Read more about the benefits of proton therapy »
Many patients with cancers and solid tumors can benefit from proton therapy. Tumors commonly treated with protons include prostate, brain, pediatric, base-of-skull, juxtaspinal cord, non-small-cell lung, gastrointestinal, and melanoma of the eye.
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Research continues to expand the understanding of the advantages of proton therapy. Read articles and studies regarding the clinical benefits of protons.
Read the literature »
Keeping You Informed
When you refer a patient to us, we will work with you to find the best treatment. If proton therapy is appropriate, we will keep you informed of your patient’s progress so that you can stay involved in the treatment and resume care for your patient when it is completed.
Learn more about our collaborative process »
- Fowler JF. What can we expect from dose escalation using proton beams? Clin Oncol. 2003;15(1):S10-S15.
- Meyer JJ, Czito BG, Willett CG. Particle radiation therapy for gastrointestinal malignancies. Gastrointest Cancer Res. 2007;1(suppl2):S50-S59.
- Vernimmen FJAI, Slabbert JP, Wilson JA, Fredericks S, Melvill R. Stereotactic proton beam therapy for intracranial arteriovenous malformations. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005;62(1):44-52.
- Miralbell R, Lomax A, Cella L, Scheider U. Potential reduction of the incidence of radiation-induced second cancers by using proton beams in the treatment of pediatric tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002;54(3):824-829.
- Chung CS, Keating N, Yock T, Tarbell N. Comparative analysis of second malignancy risk in patients treated with proton therapy versus conventional photon therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;72(1):S8.
- Komaki R, Sejpal S, Wei X, et al. Reduction of bone marrow suppression for patients with stage III NSCLC treated by proton and chemotherapy compared with IMRT and chemotherapy. Particle Therapy Cooperative Group 47. 2008;O10:14.
- Zeitman AL, DeSilvio ML, Slater JD, et al. Comparison of conventional-dose vs high-dose conformal radiation therapy in clinically localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate [published correction appears in JAMA. 2008;299(8):898-899]. JAMA. 2005;294(10):1233-1239.