Proton Beam Therapy for Cancer Has Less Side EffectsStephanie Stanton (Author) Published Date : Jan 31, 2016 00:42 IST
Research suggests that Proton beam therapy used for cancer causes less side effects in comparison to conventional radiation.
A new study was published this week that suggests the therapy can also be as effective as other forms of treatment.
The study pointed out survival rates that were similar and less impact on the lungs and hearts.
In 2014, this therapy was the center of much controversy over the care for children when the parents of a young boy took him from a hospital in England to receive treatment abroad.
The actions of the couple led to police searching for them. The boy, who at the time was five, is cancer free today, said his family on 2015.
This study, which was carried out by doctors and researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital looked at just 59 patients who were between the ages of 3 and 21. They patients were looked at between 2003 and 2009.
All of the patients had medulloblastoma the most common malignant brain tumor amongst children.
After a period of five years, the rate of survival was similar for patients treated with the Proton beam therapy to that of those treated using conventional radiation therapy, but there were fewer side effects in the lungs and heart, found the study.
The biggest find is that the proton therapy is just as effective as conventional radiation in curing patients and does so with much less toxicity that helps the quality of life of the patients.
The study said that the proton beam therapy resulted in toxicity that was acceptable and ended with similar rates of survival to those who were given the convention radiation treatments.
The difference between proton beam and photon-based treatments is it uses charged particles rather that X-rays to deliver the radiation to the cancer patients.
Therefore, it allows proton that are high-energy to target the tumor directly reducing the dose that hits surrounding organs and tissues.
Proton Beam Therapy for Cancer Has Less Side Effects