|Proton Therapy can be used to treat mostly any cancer that can be treated by conventional radiotherapy. It can be used on its own or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and other radiotherapy techniques.
Brain and Skull Base Cancers
Tumors in the brain and skull base can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Most tumors are treated with surgery alone or a combination of surgery – to remove as much of the tumor as possible – and radiation to eliminate the remaining cancerous tissues. Radiation alone may be used when surgery is not possible. Chemotherapy also is used in some cases. Radiation therapy for brain tumors and tumors at the skull base are complex and must be treated delicately, yet aggressively for effectiveness. With proton therapy technology the combination of specified treatment is possible, because the technology enables high doses of radiation to be targeted at the tumor, while protecting nearby normal brain structures to prevent new neurological deficits, hormonal deficiencies or intellectual impairment.
Proton therapy offers patients and their doctors a unique option for effectively treating esophageal cancer while reducing damage to other critical organs and tissues. With proton therapy for esophageal cancer, treatments typically take about 15 to 30 minutes each day and are delivered five days a week for approximately four to seven weeks. The course of treatment and length of time per treatment each day varies based on each patient’s individual case. Most patients tolerate the treatments extremely well and are able to continue to work and function upon the completion of treatment.
Head and Neck Cancers
Many different tumor types – both cancerous and non-cancerous – originate from or extend into the skull base and neck. Even benign tumors can cause symptoms or threaten the health and well-being of a patient. Proton therapy spares more healthy tissue when delivering the high radiation dosage needed to treat and eventually reverse the progress of the cancers in the head and neck. The decreased dosage to critical nearby normal structures helps reduce risks, such as blindness, endocrine disorders and damage to the salivary glands, and because of this, patients often report fewer side effects during and after treatment
The liver is the largest organ in the body and performs many important functions to keep a person healthy. There are two types of liver cancer - primary liver cancer (most commonly hepatocellular carcinoma), which originates in the liver and metastatic liver cancer, which results from the spread (metastasis) of cancer from other areas of the body. Liver cancer can be cured only when found in an early stage and before the disease has spread. Treatment regimens vary depending on the size of the tumor and whether the patient also has cirrhosis of the liver. Radiation therapy cannot cure liver cancer, but it can shrink the tumor or relieve pain.
When treating lung cancer with traditional radiation, it can be difficult to deliver an effective dose without risking damage to healthy tissue. By using proton therapy for lung cancer treatment, physicians are able to deliver highly effective and very precise doses of protons to the exact location of the lung cancer.
Since Proton Therapy is more precise and accurate than conventional radiation, it is especially advantageous when more sensitivity is required. The lesions and soft tissue tumors that are located near growing tissues in the brain, spinal cord, ears, eyes and mouth require extreme precision in treatment, so as not to negatively affect the different healthy growing tissues. With Proton Therapy, the beams are strictly controlled, carefully sparing the healthy tissues from excess radiation. If offers oncologists the possibility to propel high, potent doses of radiation directly to the child’s tumor site, increasing the chance of recovery exponentially.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer face an exceedingly difficult decision. The generally recommended treatment is surgery and radiation; however, the risk of severe toxicity and probable long-term negative side effects are inevitable. Proton Therapy presents an alternative, one that has shown to work excellently on patients with prostate cancer. Proton Therapy’s innovative radiation procedure offers a more precise tumor targeting technique with a much lower risk of negative side