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February 13, 2023

DISEASE EDUCATION: What is Proton Therapy?

Higher doses of radiation have repeatedly been associated with increased cure rates per research.

An advanced and highly precise form of radiation treatment is known as Proton Therapy (PT). PT minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue and risk of short- and long-term side effects because it allows radiation specialists to focus radiation directly into the tumor. PT is beneficial in treating a broad range of tumors, including the central nervous system, brain, lung, head & neck, prostate cancer, gastrointestinal track, sarcomas and certain childhood cancers, etc. PT is no longer experimental therapy and was approved by the FDA for clinical use in 1988.

How is Proton Therapy Different from Standard Radiation Treatment?

Proton beams reduce damage to healthy tissue by depositing much of their energy direction in to the tumor which allows for patients to receive a higher, more effective dose of radiation. Fewer side effects are seen in PT because less damage to healthy tissue & organs results in fewer side effects that some people experience with standard X-ray radiation therapy. Fewer sides effects improve patients’ quality of life (QOL) and their long-term health.

Are X-rays as Effective as Protons in Destroying Tumors?

In benign and malignant tumors, X-rays and protons can be equally effective in destroying tumors, however, the difference is that X-ray treatments damage more healthy tissue in the process as they release their maximum dose of radiation soon after penetrating the skide, potentially damaging healthy tissue and organs on their way to the tumor. When protons are used, there is much less exposure to healthy tissue and because of this, a higher does often can be delivered if needed, leading to more effective treatment.

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Here's to Your Health!

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Dellann Elliott Mydland
President & Board Chair

The EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund


Enhancing patient outcomes by expanding FDA-approved treatment modalities and fueling research in the pharma/bio/life sciences, device & diagnostic industries and by closing the existing GAP from initial diagnosis to IMMEDIATE AND EXPANDED ACCESS to specialists, researchers, advanced & innovative treatments, clinical trials and critical care with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes through updating and improving WHO & NCCN Guidelines and clinical practices related to Standard of Care for brain cancer patients.

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