February 6, 2014 — Initial results from a research study reveal that proton radiation therapy can successfully treat metastases to the liver. The research is being conducted at Loma Linda University Medical Center’s (LLUMC) James M. Slater, M.D., Proton Treatment and Research Center.
Gary Yang, M.D., professor of radiation medicine and head of the gastrointestinal service in the Department of Radiation Medicine at LLUMC, is principal investigator of “Stereotactic Body Proton Therapy for Liver Metastases.” The study explores management of liver metastases through non-invasive proton therapy. The therapy is given in higher doses than have previously been used with conventional X-ray therapy.
“Typically invasive open surgery and chemotherapy have been the two main options for controlling liver metastases; but due to patients’ immune systems being compromised or because they are weak, aged and/or frail, many cannot withstand open surgery,” Yang said. “That is what makes our study and the potential benefits of proton therapy so important. We are in Phase 1 of the study, and our initial results are looking promising. Thus far our patients are showing significant tumor reduction without adverse side effects.”
The liver metastases study taking place at LLUMC is currently enrolling qualified patients.