Benefits: less toxicity and higher cure rates
In most cancers requiring radiation therapy, proton therapy can provide better radiation dose distributions with respect to cancer and normal tissue than techniques employing X-rays.1 This better radiation distribution can be very important for patient outcome in certain clinical situations, and this drives the demand for proton therapy treatment.
Based on the clinical and technical literature, proton therapy benefits include:
- Precise dose localization – tissue-sparing, appropriate for sensitive organs.
- Fewer side effects for an improved quality of life.
- Reduced risk of secondary tumors caused by treatment, which makes it appropriate for treating recurrent tumors, even in patients who previously received radiation.
Tumor types where proton therapy offers advantages are lesions of the brain, spinal cord, skull base, eye, head and neck, and also chordomas, early lung cancers and pediatric tumors. Other uses are being investigated.