A national survey of prostate cancer patients shows that proton therapy side effects have less impact on quality of life compared to patients who choose other treatment options. The benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer are well-documented by clinical research, and these patient-reported outcomes further verify the advantages.
When treating lung cancer with radiation therapy, there is a significant concern that the treatment dose will expose the heart to excess radiation. One way to avoid this unnecessary radiation is by using proton therapy, a more precise form of radiation therapy compared to traditional radiation therapy (x-rays/photons).
Researchers now say there is a link between lung cancer proton therapy and a reduced risk of certain heart diseases, including mini-strokes and heart attacks.
X-ray (also called photon) therapy has long been known to cause the development of potentially deadly new cancers in patients who undergo radiation therapy to treat their cancer. However, research shows that patients who choose proton therapy for cancer treatment have a significantly lower risk of developing a second cancer later in life.
In a comprehensive study published in Cancer, the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, researchers at Stanford University found that patients who were treated with x-ray therapy developed more than three times as many new cancers as patients treated with proton therapy.1
Liver cancer proton therapy can improve the overall survival rate for patients, according to clinical research. This good news for proton advocates comes on the heels of another study identifying predictors to help reduce liver damage from radiation, which could give doctors better insight when determining a patient’s treatment plan.
In a news release from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), Laura Dawson, MD, President-elect of ASTRO and a professor of radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, remarked on the promise this shows for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, an often fatal type of liver cancer. “There is hope for patients with liver cancer, with more treatments becoming available in recent years,” said Dawson. “These studies show that protons, like photons, may be used to treat patients with HCC with a high rate of tumor control and a reduced risk of adverse effects.”
Breast cancer proton therapy treatment is “safe and effective.” That’s the conclusion of a study released in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which highlighted proton therapy’s ability to control cancer cells with much less toxicity in the heart and lungs compared to traditional radiation therapy (x-rays).
As with other cancers, the best possible outcomes for breast cancer treatment come through early breast cancer care. However, if breast cancer is diagnosed, treatments can include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, surgery, and radiation. As there is not one perfect formula to eliminate the disease, many patients will need to undergo a combination of these treatment methods.
When it comes to radiation therapy, it is important to know your options and which type of radiation treatment is best for you.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that is noninvasive and precisely targets your tumor using a single beam of high-energy protons to kill cancer cells. Proton therapy’s unique characteristics as a positively charged particle can precisely deposit radiation directly in the cancerous tumor with no exit dose. Both x-rays and protons damage cancer cells, but unlike standard radiation therapy, proton therapy deposits the majority of the radiation dose directly into the tumor. This spares nearby healthy tissues and organs from receiving unnecessary radiation, thus reducing damaging side effects and complications, compared to conventional radiation.
This is especially important in left-sided breast cancer, as the cancer is close to critical organs such as the heart and the lungs.
According to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, women who have received breast cancer radiation treatment via x-rays face a 0.5% to 3.5% higher risk for heart attack or other cardiovascular issues. The risk is highest among women who’ve had conventional radiation to the left breast because of the target’s close proximity to the heart.
A European study in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the harmful cardiovascular effects typically begin to emerge as soon as five years after cancer radiation treatment.
With proton therapy treatment for breast cancer, on average, there is no radiation to the heart and 50% less radiation to the lung as compared with conventional radiation.
Furthermore, a 2014 clinical trial by Loma Linda University found that 90% of proton therapy cases result in “good: to “excellent” cosmetic result for partial breast radiation patients during the five years following treatment.
Proton therapy is extremely precise and therefore more effective at targeting cancerous cells without causing damage to surrounding breast tissue. Proton therapy is not a substitute for a lumpectomy and works with other modalities such as chemo-therapy and surgery. Rather, it is used as an alternative to conventional radiation therapy. After surgery a breast cancer patient may receive 2-6 weeks of proton therapy.
For left-sided breast cancer patients, this could be the key to a healthier life after treatment.
In the largest side-by-side comparison study of its kind, proton therapy for cancer treatment was found to have fewer side effects while maintaining similar survival rates when compared to traditional x-ray radiation therapy. CONTINUE READING
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the world’s premier organization in Radiation Oncology, states that “solid tumors in children are considered among the highest priority for proton therapy”1 in its Model Policy. Based on this prioritization, a group of 24 internationally recognized leaders in the various specialties in oncology, convened in 2015 to define proton therapy’s role in pediatric cancers, identify which cases yield the most benefit from a limited resource, and set priorities for future development in the field.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology states that proton therapy may reduce urinary and erectile side effects, compared to traditional x-ray therapy. Authored by Hubert Y. Pan et al., the study compared the toxicities and costs of treating prostate cancer with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) versus proton therapy.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer. As of 2022, about one out of every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during his lifetime. However, it’s rare for those who are younger than 40 to develop prostate cancer. Nearly six out of 10 prostate cancer patients are over the age of 65. In this article, we’ll explain why proton therapy is an ideal treatment option for many prostate cancer patients.