Proton Therapy vs. X-rays

Proton Therapy vs. X-rays

Radiation therapy with X-rays is a valuable treatment option for many cancers but its role is
limited by the risk of damage to organs adjacent to the tumor site that can sometimes be life
threatening. This is because X-rays are highly penetrating, imparting ionizing energy to cells as
they pass through the skin and tissues. This is not always a limiting factor: in the case of prostate
cancer, for example, treatment options include radical prostatectomy, standard radiation therapy
and proton therapy.

While X-ray delivers radiation not only to the tumor but also to healthy organs and tissues
surrounding the tumor, proton beams can release its maximum energy at the tumor. It attacks
DNA in the core of the cancer cells, making the cancer cells unable to reproduce which then
followed by a gradual disappearance of the tumor. Proton therapy is often considered the most
advanced form of radiation available today.  It results in less radiation, dramatically minimizes
serious side effects and lowers the chances of secondary cancers.

Why Proton Therapy

Unlike standard radiation or surgery, proton therapy is an extremely precise form of treatment for
certain cancers. Proton beams are a flow of particles generated from hydrogen gas. By using an
accelerator, a synchrotron accelerating these particles to near the speed of light, making it able to
precisely target cancer. With that said, proton beams have the ability to focus and affect cancer
lesions with minimal impact on surrounding muscle and tissues, thus minimizes detrimental side
effects on healthy tissues.

Benefits of Proton Therapy

  • Unmatched Precision - Proton beams can target the tumor and inflict damage on cancer cells.
  • Reduced Side Effects - Precision treatment minimizes serious side effects
  • Suitable for Complex Conditions - Prostate, lung, liver, bile duct, pancreas, head and neck, esophagus, breast and
  • Lower Chances of Secondary Tumors - Reduces the risk of radiation-induced secondary cancers


Breast Cancer

MediPolis Technique with Breast Cancer

MediPolis Technique with Breast Cancer 

Medipolis Technique: immobilization for breast cancer radiotherapy

It is not always necessary to aim for great precision when the whole breast is irradiated after breast-conserving surgery but targeted proton beam therapy requires immobilization of the breast and this presents practical difficulties for clinicians. Further, there is no consensus on the best position of the patient at fixation because the shape of the breasts may change due to the effect of gravity. Irradiation of the breast with the patient in the supine (that is, face-up) position would lead to a greater damage to the lungs and heart compared with the prone (that is, face-down) position. However, it is difficult to obtain high geometric accuracy during irradiation in the prone position because the breast is not secured and it shifts with the movement of the thorax due to respiration. The Medipolis Technique utilizes a hybrid breast-immobilization system (HyBIS) that exploits the best aspects of the supine and prone positions.

Using HyBIS: overview

There are three phases to HyBIS: preparation, setup and treatment. In the preparation phase, the patient is secured (except for the affected breast) on a whole body immobilization system that allows for adjustments in position. The device incorporates a photo scanning system that generates a digital image of the breast from which a unique breast cup is created.

The breast cup is fitted to the breast and held in place with a specially designed retention apparatus.

With the patient and breast immobilized, the setup phase of simulation and planning treatment based on CT images can begin. These data provide the basis on which the treatment phase is implemented. Treatment ends with the removal of the breast cup and relaxation in a bathtub.

Novel technologies

MPTRC has incorporated novel technologies in the development of HyBIS. The whole body immobilization system was designed to hold the entire body of a patient in a polycarbonate case on a purpose-built aluminum stretcher, with vacuum cushions and belts.

Treatment Schedule

Treatment schedule will be decided by the oncology specialists and advisors.   Patients will be treated daily  at the time for 15 min to 40 min.   In the average treatments, lung and liver cancers needs two to three weeks of daily treatment during weekdays,and prostate and osteocartilaginous cancers need approximately 8 weeks.

Adverse Effects

Patients with proton therapy therapy do not show significant adverse effects such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and mental disturbance.


About Cancer Research in the UK

Radiation therapy has advanced as well. While more sophisticated equipment and technology does less damage to the surrounding tissues, new discoveries and developments have brought about new and more effective medicines with fewer side effects. This and other advancements have been brought about by ongoing cancer research.

Cancer Research UK is one research organization based in the United Kingdom. It is one of the few independent organizations devoted to cancer research in the world. One of the goals of this organization and others like it is to gain a better understanding of the various types of cancer. By doing so they can then develop better medicines and treatments to fight cancer.

Only through a better understanding of cancer can advancements in these areas be made.

Research is the step by step process that is done by collecting and examining data on cancer. It almost always involves a quest for new information that can help to develop a new drug or treatment or hopefully someday an actual cure for cancer.

Research can involve the study of its basic biology to the effects of treatments. Another area of research involves the testing of drugs that have already been developed. Before a drug is made available to the public it must undergo years of testing to make sure it is safe and effective. Right now there are drugs undergoing testing that in years to come will be available for use but researchers must first determine their overall effect on the cancer patients who use them.

Most people don’t realize just how many different types of cancer there are, each with its different problems in treating it. So there has to be many different areas of research to develop treatments for them. Cancer Research UK supports over three-thousand researchers and the work they are doing.

The one true key to successful cancer research is money. One ongoing job for nonprofit cancer research organizations is raising the funds to support the work they are doing. Anyone can help cancer research by making a donation to any of the nonprofit cancer research centers. In this way, you can do your part to help find better treatments and hopefully someday a cure for the disease.

Another way to help is to take part in a clinical trial of a new drug or treatment.

Another area of cancer research is focused on the relieving of the symptoms of cancer. Until a cure is found people with cancer have to endure the symptoms of the disease. The first one that comes to mind is pain but there are many others such as dietary and nutritional special problems cancer patients face.

Learning how to better keep cancer patients pain free, happy and healthy is another area of ongoing cancer research. There too many areas of cancer research to cover here but we have covered a few. Only through cancer research can progress be made in understanding its causesComputer Technology Articles, how to prevent it and eventually a cure.