What Is Proton Therapy And How Does It Work
Proton therapy is another form of radiation therapy. Like other types of radiation therapy, it works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which causes the cells to die and the tumor to shrink.
However, proton therapy is different from other types of radiation therapy because it uses protons to deliver radiation. This is remarkable because the nature of protons allows them to be manipulated to release most of their energy within a tumor with little to no dose in the surrounding healthy tissue. The result is a more precise radiation treatment with fewer side effects which is particularly important for patients with certain types of cancer.
Proton therapy works by generating and accelerating a proton beam with a sophisticated device called a cyclotron. Our cyclotron is one of the most technically advanced types available in the world.
Once the proton beam exits the cyclotron, it passes through a series of hardware components located downstream from the cyclotron. These adjust the beams shape and range precisely so it is customized for each patients particular tumor treatment.
Side Effects And Risks
Proton therapy is a type of external beam radiotherapy, and shares risks and side effects of other forms of radiation therapy. The dose outside of the treatment region can be significantly less for deep-tissue tumors than X-ray therapy, because proton therapy takes full advantage of the Bragg peak. Proton therapy has been in use for over 40 years, and is a mature technology. As with all medical knowledge, understanding of the interaction of radiations with tumor and normal tissue is still imperfect.
Is Proton Therapy Safer Than Traditional Radiation
Traditional radiation therapy delivers radiation to the tumor and to healthy tissues around the tumor. With proton therapy , the majority of the radiation is delivered to the tumor.
A type of radiation treatment called proton beam radiation therapy may be safer and just as effective as traditional radiation therapy for adults with advanced cancer. That finding comes from a study that used existing patient data to compare the two types of radiation.
Traditional radiation delivers x-rays, or beams of photons, to the tumor and beyond it. This can damage nearby healthy tissues and can cause significant side effects.
Plus, proton therapy is more expensive than traditional radiation, and not all insurance companies cover the cost of the treatment, given the limited evidence of its benefits. Nevertheless, 31 hospitals across the country have spent millions of dollars building proton therapy centers, and many advertise the potential, but unproven, advantages of the treatment.
In the new study, patients treated with proton therapy were much less likely to experience severe side effects than patients treated with traditional radiation therapy. There was no difference in how long the patients lived, however. The results were published December 26 in JAMA Oncology.
These results support the whole rationale for proton therapy, said the studys lead investigator, Brian Baumann, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania.
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What Cancer Types Are Sensitive To Proton Beam Therapy
The proton therapy is indicated for patients with:
- brain, head & neck cancer
- pediatric cancer.
Except cancer, proton therapy in effective for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, seizure disorders, macular degeneration, severe rheumatologic malformations, macular degeneration.
Only a doctor can determine whether a proton beam therapy will be effective in your case.
Medical coordinators consult you and help to make the right choice. Bookimed services are free for you and do not affect the clinic’s bill.
Limitations Of The Studys Design
The study leaders and other experts noted several limitations to the studys design.
For instance, this observational study cant establish a cause-and-effect relationship between proton therapy and fewer side effects. In addition, all of the study participants were treated at a single institution, which can make it difficult to generalize the findings to a larger population.
Those are very significant limitations that shouldnt be understated, Dr. Buchsbaum emphasized.
Although single-institution studies have inherent limitations, Dr. Baumann noted, all patients in this study received high-quality treatment at a large academic medical center, regardless of whether it was proton or traditional radiation therapy, which suggests that the benefit of proton therapy that we saw is meaningful.
Also, because patients were not randomly assigned to treatment groups, there were differences between patients who got proton and traditional radiation, and that may have skewed the results.
For instance, patients who received proton therapy were, on average, older and had more health issues.
The proton therapy group may also have included more patients from privileged backgrounds, Drs. Park and Yu noted. Socioeconomic status and social support can affect treatment outcomes, they wrote.
In addition, fewer people with head and neck cancerwho are more likely to suffer from radiation-associated side effectswere included in the proton therapy group, the editorialists added.
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Safety And Efficacy Of Proton Therapy
Many people with locally advanced cancers are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and either traditional or proton radiation. For patients getting chemotherapy and radiation at the same time, finding ways to limit side effects without making the treatment less effective is a high priority, Dr. Baumann said.
He and his colleagues analyzed data from nearly 1,500 adults with 11 different types of cancer. All participants had received simultaneous chemotherapy plus radiation at the University of Pennsylvania Health System between 2011 and 2016 and had been followed to track side effects and cancer outcomes, including survival. Almost 400 had received proton therapy and the rest received traditional radiation.
Those who received proton therapy experienced far fewer serious side effects than those who received traditional radiation, the researchers found. Within 90 days of starting treatment, 45 patients in the proton therapy group and 301 patients in the traditional radiation group experienced a severe side effectthat is, an effect severe enough to warrant hospitalization.
In addition, proton therapy didnt affect peoples abilities to perform routine activities like housework as much as traditional radiation. Over the course of treatment, performance status scores were half as likely to decline for patients treated with proton therapy as for those who received traditional radiation.
What Affects The Proton Beam Treatment Cost
The proton therapy cost per treatment depends on:
- Country chosen for treatment. Proton beam treatment price ranges from country to country depending on their price policy. For instance, you can find the cheapest proton therapy in India. The same treatment in Germany will cost 3-5 times higher.
- Diagnosis. The intensity and amount of proton therapy sessions depend on the disease. So, the final cost estimate is possible after a revision of your medical records by a doctor.
- Additional services. The proton beam therapy cost usually includes a procedure itself. If you need interpreter’s assistance, it is paid additionally in most of the cases. Admission is not required for proton treatment, but you need to book a hotel for this period from several days to weeks depending on the amount of treatment cycles.
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The Online Magazine For Proton Therapy
Please find here below a list of clinical institutions offering Proton Therapy today :
|Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center|
- 3 yrs after #protontherapy@NCCKorea,a 6yo girl in #Shropshire dreams of a big,stuffed giraffe from Father Christmas
- RT @JaletEssentials: Health Notes: Proton Therapy Institute honored for international appeal #holistichealth https:
- RT @FareedRiyazMD: Proton Beam Therapy Improves Local Control in Liver Cancer #RadNews
What Are The Side Effects Of Proton Therapy
All radiation therapy has side effects. Proton therapy’s side effects are similar to other radiation treatments but may occur less often and may be milder due to the limited exposure of radiation to healthy cells. Common side effects may include soreness near the treatment area, low energy following treatment, headaches and hair loss at the treatment spot.
Tampa General Hospital Florida Cancer Specialists Proton Therapy Partners And Florida Urology Partners Come Together With Plans To Open The Regions First Proton Therapy Center
The first of its kind on the West Coast of Florida, this free-standing proton therapy center backed by the regions top academic medical center and leading community partners aims to provide cancer patients with advanced and alternative life-saving treatment.
Tampa, Fla., Oct. 25, 2021 Tampa General Hospital , the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute , Proton Therapy Partners and Florida Urology Partners today announced a new collaborative partnership with plans to build a proton therapy center in Tampa Bay that would offer patients across the West Coast of Florida access to an advanced alternative to conventional radiation treatment for cancer and within the convenience of their own backyard. Under the support of a proposed LLC, the free-standing proton therapy center is expected to break ground in Tampa Bay in the second quarter of 2022.
Tampa General Hospitals vision is to be the safest, most innovative academic health system in America and that demands providing our community with the most advanced leading-edge treatment available, said John Couris, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. This partnership would allow us to do just that with expertise from best-in-class community partners and with the resources and support that only the regions leading academic medical center can provide. We are excited to offer this as part of the medical district in Tampa and expansion across the state.
*Prior to approval
Randomized Clinical Trials And New Evidencebased Methodologies
Although particle therapy has been clinically introduced already for decades for several indications, limited data exist on treatment outcome based on systemically collected prospective studies, such as randomized controlled trials or observational cohort studies. Since particle therapy is more expensive than conventional photon radiotherapy, it is of utmost importance that robust data are generated to justify its use evidence from welldesigned prospective trials is needed to demonstrate that protons delivered to selected cancer patients have a meaningful clinical benefit and should be routinely administered to a broader range of patients .
Other novel trial methods are currently being suggested, many of which utilize information from rigorously collected prospective clinical data. One of these, the socalled cohort multiple randomized controlled trial, will be described in the next section.
What Are The Best Proton Treatment Centers In Asia
There are few proton therapy centers in Asia. Among them is Apollo Proton Cancer Center . It is the first proton therapy facility in Southeast Asia. Apollo offers one of the most affordable prices for treatment without quality loss in the world.
Submit a request to undergo treatment at Apollo Proton Therapy Center.
Clinical Experience And Current Indications
It took only 6 years after the publication by Robert R. Wilson in 1946 before John Lawrence and Cornelius A. Tobias at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory applied protons clinically for the first time when a 340MeV proton beam was used to irradiate the pituitary gland in a patient with acromegaly. Since then, more than 190 000 patients have been treated with protons and 28 000 patients have received carbon ions . Eighty proton therapy centers are currently active worldwide about 30% of those centers are in Europe. The number of European proton therapy clinics is rapidly increasing: While in 2017 there were 15 operational facilities, by the end of 2020 there will be 31 proton therapy facilities in clinical operation . Carbon ion therapy is currently ongoing in nine centers in Asia and four in Europe.
Graph showing the number of clinical proton facilities in Europe 20092020. Source: www.ptcog.ch.
Comparison of treatment plans with Xrays and protons for different tumor sites. Figure reproduced from Durante et al. , reproduced with permission of Elsevier.
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What Are The Advantages Of Proton Beam Therapy
The main advantage of proton therapy compared to standard radiotherapy is its ability to affect a tumor with a higher dose of irradiation avoiding healthy tissues. Among the other pros of proton treatment are:
- targeting malignancies with maximal precision and optimal radiation dose
- reduced overall toxicity
- reduced side effects
- is effective in treating recurrent tumors, even in those patients who’ve already undergone another type of radiotherapy
- the higher survival rate for patients with some tumor types
- improved patient’s quality of life during and after the treatment.
Proton therapy is widely used to treat cancers which are insensitive to other therapies or when standard radiotherapy can be dangerous for a patient. It is also a primary radiotherapeutic treatment to treat pediatric cancer as far as children’s healthy cells are not damaged, so a little patient’s healthy organs are developing in a normal way.
About The Marjorie And Leonard Williams Center For Proton Therapy At The Orlando Health Cancer Institute
Proton therapy harnesses the power of the proton a positively charged subatomic particle to treat cancer. At the Orlando Health Cancer Institute, our Center for Proton Therapy brings this superior cancer treatment to those who need it the most.
Historically, proton therapy was too expensive for widespread use. But advances in technology now make it more practical on a wider scale. Still, the Orlando Health Cancer Institute is one of only a few centers in the United States offering this treatment.
Our radiation oncologists are highly regarded for their knowledge and experience. Through clinical practice and research, our experts are improving the lives of many and further proving the benefits of this exciting treatment.
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Passive Scattering Beam Delivery
The first commercially available proton delivery systems used a scattering process, or passive scattering, to deliver the therapy. With scattering proton therapy the proton beam is spread out by scattering devices, and the beam is then shaped by putting items such as collimators and compensators in the path of the protons. Passive scattering gives homogeneous dose along the target volume. Therefore, passive scattering gives more limited control over dose distributions proximal to target. Over time many scattering therapy systems have been upgraded to deliver pencil beam scanning. Because scattering therapy was the first type of proton therapy available, most clinical data available on proton therapyespecially long-term data as of 2020were acquired via scattering technology.
What Types Of Cancer Can Be Treated With Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is used to treat both benign and malignant tumors. Proton treatments are particularly important for treating tumors that haven’t spread and are near crucial body functions, such as the brain, spinal cord, or eyes. Doctors commonly select proton therapy to treat cancers in children due to the increased sensitivity of children to even low dose radiation which affect growth and development. In addition to these priorities, there is increasing investigation to use proton therapy for all types of cancers from head to toe. It is worth asking whether it might be a good option for you or a loved one in need of radiation treatment.
Common conditions we treat with proton therapy include:
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Proton Therapy Market Overview 2024 List Of Proton Therapy Centers Specifications & Company Analysis
A new market study, titled Proton Therapy Market Outlook, Actual & Potential Market, Actual and Potential Candidate for Proton Therapy, List of Proton Therapy Centers, Start of Treatment, Number of Patients Treated, Specifications & Company Analysis Global Forecast to 2024 has been featured on WiseGuyReports.
The rise in popularity of proton therapy is continuing across the globe. It is estimated that more than 165,000 patients suffering from a variety of cancers, such as prostate cancer, brain tumors, etc. have already been successfully treated using this method. In fact, the proton therapy market is on track to become a multibillion-dollar industry by 2024. The number of proton therapy centers is increasing globally. Still, industry experts believe that players will miss out on a majority of cancer patients who can benefit with proton therapy, overlooking a huge multi-Billion-dollar potential market.
The United States captured highest share of the proton therapy market. United States is likely to maintain its dominant position throughout the forecasting period. The US retains the highest number of proton therapy centers and many are in development phase or under construction.
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How Is A Proton Beam Therapy Performed
A proton beam therapy is performed 5 days a week and lasts up to several weeks. In some cases, only one cycle of proton beam therapy is enough. One session of treatment takes about 1 minute, but you need to spend 30-45 minutes to prepare for proton beam therapy.
During the therapy, you lay on the special table. The doctors go to a special room to monitor and manage the process.
You won’t feel any discomfort during the treatment. You can leave the proton therapy center right after the treatment session.
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Pioneers Of Proton Therapy
Working with the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory , Mass General physicians became the first in the world to discover how to harness the extraordinary physical characteristics of high energy protons for medical care. By using protons rather than conventional x-rays , physicians could increasingly concentrate radiation energy in tumors and intended targets, reducing radiation dose and damage to nearby healthy tissue.
As part of the largest hospital-based research program in the country, we have led, and continue to lead, many studies to define the best use of proton therapy for clinical care. Learn more about our groundbreaking proton therapy research.