Unlike proton therapy, conventional radiation therapy uses x-rays which enter and exits the body, potentially causing damage to the healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor being treated. However, at the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, our pencil beam scanning capabilities allow our oncologists to target treatment to a specific area, giving a high-energy dose of protons that enter the tumor with accuracy and stop in their tracks, limiting collateral damage to healthy tissues. As a result, the important organs and tissues surrounding the cancer are better protected from unnecessary radiation, thus minimizing or completely avoiding treatment induced side effects, such as nerve damage with resulting neurologic disfunction, as well as avoiding other complications such as breathing difficulties, nausea, impotence, secondary cancers and others.
Both standard X-rays/conventional radiation therapy and proton therapy attack tumors by preventing cancer cells from dividing and growing. The difference between the two therapies is that protons can precisely target the tumor, allowing patients to receive higher, more effective doses, and reducing damage to healthy tissue near the tumor. The chart below shows how protons eliminate radiation to the brain stem and X-rays do not.
Although it is similar to conventional radiation therapy, protons are more precise, the proton beam is fine-tuned with millimeters of accuracy to deliver maximum energy within a controlled range of the tumor. Proton treatment can also be combined with radiation, chemotherapy and biological treatments, depending on the cancer type to provide better outcomes and less tissue damage. Also, Proton treament greatly improves pediatric outcomes.
Proton therapy is used for various types of cancers including prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain tumors even pediatric patients and breast cancer. Most commonly used in prostate and lung cancer in men.
Proton Therapy is able to treat the following cancers more precisely then ever before.
Learning about a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming but there is a new form of cancer treatment being offered right here in East Tennessee. It is fast becoming one of the top cancer treatment options available, it is called proton therapy. Joining us today is Dr. Marcio Fagundes from Provison Center for Proton Therapy. You are actually a radiation oncologist, you have seen this work first hand, please explain this process.
Proton Therapy is type of radiation therapy were protons are aimed at the tumor and we can actually make this form of radiation stop at the tumor and not radiate beyond the tumor. So that more dose of radiation can be administered to the tumor site, with less surrounding side affects.
So with proton therapy you are able to be more specific in the areas that you are actually treating the cancer?
Yes, protons are physically superior to X-rays because we can actually stop the radiation where we want, so we can spare the heart for instance when we are treating lung cancer or other tumors in the chest and not cause side effects or damage. Which is fantastic for the patient!