High energy proton beam therapy is an innovative treatment method of using external radiotherapy to treat certain cancer types. There are numerous benefits to why a patient would be referred for proton beam therapy as a standalone or combination treatment. However, like all cancer treatments, proton beam therapy is more efficient for treating certain cancers depending on their location, staging and the individual patients’ circumstances.
How does Proton Beam Therapy work?
Proton beam therapy makes use of high energy proton beams that are precisely delivered in carefully measured doses to the treatment area. These proton beams interrupt the cancer cell functionality, causing the cell to stop growing and dividing, eventually leading to the death of the cancer cell. As a highly targeted treatment, protons are accurately ‘painted’ onto the tumour using an advanced form of delivery known as pencil beam scanning.
The use of advanced pencil beam scanning prevents healthy cells in the area from receiving a dose of radiation which reduces the severity of side effects and the likelihood of the cancer returning.
What are the benefits of Proton Beam Therapy?
Proton beam therapy has numerous benefits for the patient including;
- Reduced severity of side effects
- Highly accurate targeting allows for greater treatment doses
- Potential for reduced length of treatment due to greater doses
- Ability to treat hard to reach tumours in sensitive areas , such as the brain, spine and prostate
- Little to no exposure of radiation in nearby healthy cells
- Option to combine with other treatment types such as surgery and chemotherapy
Proton Beam Therapy in the UK
High energy proton beam therapy treatment has only recently become available in the UK privately via Rutherford Cancer Centres, a network of advanced cancer centres in England and Wales.
Currently, the Rutherford has four cancer centres in their network, all of which will offer high energy proton beam therapy to suitable patients.
Over the next few years, Rutherford aims to provide patients with an easy to access advanced cancer centre within ninety minutes of all major UK locations. Reach out to Rutherford Cancer Centres for more information on 0800 210 0402.