Proton therapy eliminates 70% of liver cancer tumors – A Korean study

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Researchers at Samsung Medical Center in South Korea published a study showing that proton therapy is an effective and safe method of treating liver cancer. Proton therapy is a high-end radiotherapy method that uses proton rays instead of the photon rays (X-ray and γ-ray) used in ordinary radiotherapy to destroy cancer cell DNA, interfere with its replication and reproduction, and cause cancer cell death.

The team of Park Hee-chul and Yu Jeong-il, professors of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Samsung Medical Center, studied 101 liver cancer patients who had undergone proton therapy for one year from January 2016. The results of the study showed that almost all patients who used proton therapy as a substitute for local cautery therapy (such as surgery or high-frequency hyperthermia) were significantly improved.

78 patients were followed up for 3 months after proton therapy. About 70% (54 patients) tumors completely disappeared and about 18% (14 patients) tumors shrank significantly. After treatment, in the Child-Pugh score, nearly 90% of patients maintained Grade A status in the Child-Pugh score for 3 months.

The researchers said that patient safety is considered to be the biggest advantage of proton therapy and has been confirmed by research. Samsung Medical Center pointed out that proton therapy can reduce the adverse effects of existing radiation therapy, and only a lower dose of radiation can achieve better treatment results. “Although we are in the initial stage of developing proton therapy, data published in developed countries: In the long run, proton therapy will bring positive results to patients,” Professor Park said.


“Through further research, we will focus on improving the quality of life of patients, through further research to improve the treatment effect and improve the treatment side effects,” Park added. The results were published in the latest issue of the Korean Society of Radiation Oncology (KOSRO).

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