Proton beam therapy Q&A: What is it and how is it different to radiotherapy to treat cancer?

The Independent explains what proton therapy is and how it is different to conventional radiotherapy.

The Independent

One Response to “Proton beam therapy Q&A: What is it and how is it different to radiotherapy to treat cancer?”

  1. Arthur Kay

    This over simplistic explanation ignores the fact that by modulating high energy X ray beams from multiple directions the radiation “dose” to the tumour can be similar to proton therapy whilst damage to surrounding healthy tissue can be minimalized. It also avoids mentioning the fact that the radiobiological effect from protons increases significantly towards the end of their range thereby complicating treatment planning and potentially causing significant additional radiation damage. Proton therapy may be exciting because it is expensive and exotic. When and if someone carries out randomised controlled trials we might find out whether it offers any real clinical benefit over existing radiotherapy techniques.