Reviewer: James M. Metz, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 22, 2007
Presenter: Suwen Liu
Presenter's Affiliation: Wanjie Proton Therapy Center, Zibo, China
Type of Session: Scientific
China has the highest incidence of esophageal cancer in the world with a rate of 479 per 100,000 people. Radiation therapy plays an important role in the treatment of this disease. However, standard radiation therapy is limited by the toxicity of treatment, particularly when combined with chemotherapy. Proton therapy may reduce exposure of normal tissues such as the lungs, heart, and spinal cord and hence reduce the toxocity of treatment when compared to conventional radiation therapy.
Materials and Methods
There are very limited reports of proton therapy being used to treat GI malignancies in the medical literature. The esophagus may be an important target for proton therapy because of the reduced normal tissue exposure to radiation and need to combine radiatio with other treatment modalities. This study, although very preliminary with small numbers gives us some understanding of the tolerability of this approach. However, the doses of radiation utilized were not consistent and the use of chemotherapy was not consistent in this study, which are very important parameters to define as we move forward with the evaluation of proton therapy in esophageal cancer. We look forward to future reports with greater numbers of patients and longer follow up.