Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The clinical case for proton beam therapy

Robert L Foote1*, Scott L Stafford1, Ivy A Petersen1, Jose S Pulido2, Michelle J Clarke3, Steven E Schild9, Yolanda I Garces1, Kenneth R Olivier1, Robert C Miller1, Michael G Haddock1, Elizabeth Yan1, Nadia N Laack1, Carola A S Arndt4, Steven J Buskirk10, Vickie L Miller11, Christopher R Brent1, Jon J Kruse5, Gary A Ezzell9, Michael G Herman5, Leonard L Gunderson11, Charles Erlichman6 and Robert B Diasio78

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

2 Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

3 Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

4 Divisions of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Orthopedic Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

5 Division of Medical Physics, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

6 Division of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

7 Division of Oncology Research, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, Minnesota

8 Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

9 Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona

10 Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida

11 Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Radiation Oncology 2012, 7:174  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-174

Published: 22 October 2012

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, several proton beam treatment programs have been implemented throughout the United States. Increasingly, the number of new programs under development is growing. Proton beam therapy has the potential for improving tumor control and survival through dose escalation. It also has potential for reducing harm to normal organs through dose reduction. However, proton beam therapy is more costly than conventional x-ray therapy. This increased cost may be offset by improved function, improved quality of life, and reduced costs related to treating the late effects of therapy. Clinical research opportunities are abundant to determine which patients will gain the most benefit from proton beam therapy. We review the clinical case for proton beam therapy.

Proton beam therapy is a technically advanced and promising form of radiation therapy.

Keywords:
Clinical review; Neoplasms; Proton beam therapy; X-ray therapy