News | September 24, 2008

Proton Therapy Lowers Chance of Later Cancers

September 25, 2008 – Proton therapy (a specialized type of external beam radiation therapy using protons rather than X-rays to treat cancer) decreases the risk of patients developing a secondary cancer by two-fold, compared to being treated with standard photon radiation treatment, according to a first-of-its-kind study presented Sept. 22, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

This study contradicts recent theories that have suggested that proton radiation might actually increase — instead of decrease — the incidence of secondary cancers because of what is called scatter radiation. When proton radiation is delivered, neutrons are produced by nuclear interactions and are therefore scattered as a result.

“This study could have a substantial impact on the care of patients,” Nancy Tarbell, M.D., senior author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said. “Since cancer patients are surviving for longer periods of time, side effects of therapy are becoming increasingly important for doctors to consider when developing treatment plans. Since this is a retrospective study, however, we will need additional studies to further prove this hypothesis.”

This study contradicts recent theories that have suggested that proton radiation might actually increase - instead of decrease - the incidence of secondary cancers because of what is called scatter radiation. When proton radiation is delivered, neutrons are produced by nuclear interactions and are therefore scattered as a result.

Photon radiation is the standard external beam radiation therapy treatment, while proton radiation is a more targeted form of external beam radiation, which delivers less radiation to bordering normal structures. During external beam radiation therapy, a beam of radiation is directed through the skin to the cancer and the immediate surrounding area in order to destroy the main tumor and any nearby cancer cells. The retrospective cohort study matched 503 patients who underwent Harvard Cyclotron proton radiation treatment with 1,591 patients treated with photon radiation therapy from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry from 1974 to 2001. According to the study, 6.4 percent of patients who underwent proton therapy developed a secondary cancer while 12.8 percent of patients who had photon treatment developed another type of cancer.

For more information: www.rtanswers.org and www.astro.org

Related Content

MedStar Georgetown Proton Center Selects RayStation for Treatment Planning
News | Treatment Planning | August 17, 2017
August 17, 2017 — The proton center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital will utilize RayStation for planning on
DOSIsoft Releases ISOgray Proton Therapy Treatment Planning System
Technology | Treatment Planning | August 15, 2017
DOSIsoft SA announced the official release, with CE marking, of ISOgray Treatment Planning System (TPS) release 4.3 for...
First Radixact Results Presented at AAPM 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | August 10, 2017
Accuray Inc. announced that the first studies validating the benefits of the Radixact System were presented at the 59th...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
Aktina’s interchangeable cones are lightweight and extremely accurate
News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2017
Aktina Medical announced a collaboration with Philips Medical Systems and Elekta Instruments for SRS interlocking at...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
Accuray Receives 510(k) Clearance for iDMS Data Management System
Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | July 31, 2017
July 31, 2017 — Accuray Inc. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
more healthcare providers and patients are choosing options such as Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery
News | Radiation Therapy | July 31, 2017
Each year, up to 650,000 people who were previously diagnosed with various forms of cancer will develop brain...
Overlay Init