As medical researchers continue to search for a cure for cancer, proton radiation therapy is a promising new treatment. By targeting the area to be treated very specifically, proton treatment for brain cancer and other cancers avoids any contact between the radiation and surrounding organs and tissues. In some treatments like prostrate cancer, it shows a high degree of success. The use of proton therapy is increasing over time as its benefits become more apparent.
What is proton treatment?
Proton therapy for brain cancer and other types of cancers uses radiation to target very specific points. Unlike conventional radiation, which also affects surrounding tissues and organs, proton cancer treatment reduces harmful side effects.
Proton therapy for brain cancer and other cancers delivers as much as 60% less radiation to surrounding tissues, greatly reducing the risk to healthy tissues. In beast cancer treatment, the heart receives no radiation and the lungs receive 50% less than with conventional radiation. As compared to conventional radiation therapy using x-rays, proton therapy delivers at least 59% less radiation to gastrointestinal strictures.
Success of proton cancer treatment therapy
Proton therapy for brain cancer and other cancers has a high degree of success. For men with low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer who received proton treatment, 99%, 94% and 74% respectively showed no signs of recurrence after five years.
Proton therapy was first tried in 1995, but it was not very successful initially, because internal imaging capabilities were very limited. With improvements in technology, it has become possible to target the affected tissue areas very specifically, without causing damage to surrounding areas.
Rise in number of proton therapy centers
Proton therapy has been used by over 67,000 people in Europe, Asia and the United States. Of these, 31,000 have been in the U.S. The 2017 US Proton Therapy Outlook released by RNCOS, estimates that there will be around 27 proton therapy centers around the U.S. by 2027. Collectively they are expected to generate revenues of $1.17 billion.
As more accurate Imaging methods allow for pinpoint targeting, proton therapy for brain cancer and other cancers is expected to grow. With reduced or minimal side effects and a high success rate, this is a promising new treatment for cancer.