Proton therapy is the best option for lung cancer patients

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Lung cancer and proton therapy

The lungs are adjacent to some of the most sensitive and important organs and tissues, including the heart, esophagus, and spinal cord. Only about 20% of lung tumors can be treated by surgery; other patients generally require high-dose radiotherapy or radiotherapy combined with other treatments.

Proton-targeted therapy of lung tumors means that patients have a greater chance of recovery, less radiation to surrounding tissues, and fewer side effects than X-ray radiotherapy.

The advantages of proton therapy for lung cancer

In theory, proton therapy for lung cancer will:

1. Target only to the tumor

2. Protect healthy lung tissue

3. Protect the patient’s heart, esophagus and spinal cord

4. Maintain quality of life during treatment

5. Reduce the side effects of treatment

Lung tumors are particularly difficult to treat with traditional radiotherapy because:

Routine radiotherapy radiation affects healthy tissues around the lung lobes of the lesion, including healthy lung tissue, heart, esophagus, and spinal cord tissue. These structures are very sensitive to radiation, even at low doses of radiation, the destruction of these tissues will cause significant side effects and jeopardize the patient’s quality of life.


·://” data-wpil-monitor-id=”1492″>X-ray radiotherapy to repeatedly treat the same area and the vicinity of the cancer is very difficult and may have a very high risk. The radiation dose needed to effectively treat the tumor may have a very large toxicity to the surrounding healthy tissue, but the low dose is not enough to kill the cancer cells.

For any cancer radiotherapy treatment, in some cases the incidence of potentially serious complications can be very high. This makes the decision to give patients traditional radiotherapy treatments very difficult:

1. The radiation dose to the tumor is less than the optimal dose (this reduces the chance of disease remission); or

2. The ideal radiation dose for tumors and high-risk radiation for healthy tissues.

Types of lung cancer that proton therapy can treat

The types of cancer that advanced proton therapy can provide for the chest and lungs include:

·. Because proton beams can be carefully controlled, protons can store their maximum energy and directly affect the tumor, and radiation exposure to sensitive healthy tissues and tissues around the lungs can be minimized. Proton therapy has particular benefits for patients with impaired lung function and cardiovascular disease.

Proton therapy – Studies have shown that proton therapy is as effective as X-ray in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and can significantly reduce side effects, such as lung inflammation and esophageal inflammation. Studies have shown that some patients with lung cancer receive larger doses of proton radiation, but have fewer side effects.

Reduced radiation to surrounding tissues. Intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) or pencil beam scanning, which was just introduced at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in California, intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) or pencil beam scanning allows doctors to use high-dose proton therapy for patients’ tumors. At the same time reduce the radiation dose to vital organs around the patient.

More targeted treatments can be performed by pen beam scanning. When compared to traditional passive scattering proton therapy, the Scripps Proton Therapy Center’s intensity-adjustable pen-beam scanning technology (IMPT) can treat more complex tumors, forming multiple dose distributions within the tumor and reducing the radiation dose to surrounding tissues. The radiation dose emitted by the pen beam scanning can extend beyond the target tumor, so compared to passive scattering proton therapy and intensity-adjusted X-ray therapy (IMRT), the minimum radiation dose is required.

The risk of side effects is significantly reduced. Studies have shown that higher doses of proton radiotherapy can reach lung tumors, while the risk of esophagitis and pneumonia is significantly reduced.

Reduced radiation exposure to normal lung and bone marrow tissues. Studies have shown that proton therapy can reduce the exposure of normal lung tissue and bone marrow to radiation compared to traditional light quantum (X-ray) therapy. Reducing radiation to the bone marrow can also reduce treatment-related fatigue.

Reduce the risk of secondary cancer. Many studies have shown that the area around patients receiving X-ray radiation therapy will have a significantly higher rate of secondary cancer. Because proton therapy can significantly reduce lung cancer, for normal tissue radiation dose, studies predict that the risk of secondary cancer is lower.

Proton therapy is safer for relapsed lung cancer

Because proton therapy can better focus its radiation dose on the target, so that it will not shoot elsewhere, it is very suitable for areas that have received X-ray radiation before treatment. The area irradiated before treatment is very challenging and dangerous for any radiotherapy treatment. The surrounding tissues of recurring tumors cannot “forget” the previous radiation dose. Any additional doses continue to increase the risk of damage to normal tissues. By reducing the radiation dose to previously treated tissues, proton therapy can help reduce (but not eradicate) some of the risks associated with re-irradiation.

How much does proton therapy cost?

Proton therapy cost depends on the condition of patient, duration of treatment and the treating center. Cost of proton therapy may cost anywhere between $ 4,00,000-500,000 USD in USA and $ 30,000 – 60,000 USD in India.

Where to go for proton therapy ?

Proton therapy is available in USA, Germany, India, China & Japan at present. Patients can visit any of these centres for proton therapy. 

Where is proton therapy available in India?

Proton therapy is available in Chennai in India.

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