Proton Therapy: Latest Advancement in Cancer Treatment
“Proton therapy is a potential treatment for most cancers, not just for rare cases,” said Dr. Collins. “It is the future.”
Brian Collins, MD, a radiation oncologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and clinical director of the new proton therapy center, has been treating cancer patients for over 20 years. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is the only facility in the world to offer proton therapy with HYPERSCAN™, the most advanced cancer-fighting technology. To understand why Dr. Collins is so enthusiastic about this treatment, it is important to understand the basics of proton therapy and the promise it holds for all people battling cancer.
What is proton therapy?
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that targets tumors anywhere in the body and can be used in adults and children. Proton therapy has the power to shrink and eliminate cancer and other tumors. It delivers radiation by matching the exact size and shape of each tumor, in effect painting the tumor with radiation layer-by-layer until the entire area has been treated.
The benefits of proton therapy
With pinpoint accuracy, proton therapy can destroy its target while protecting surrounding healthy tissue from harm. It is so precise that it can treat tumors without leaving an exit dose, resulting in little to no radiation continuing past the tumor. Proton therapy uses about 60% less radiation than traditional radiation therapy and can be just as effective. The lower dose of radiation also means it causes less acute side effects and better quality of life. This is especially beneficial for children as less exposure to radiation results in less growth impairment as they grow up.
The future of cancer treatment
“I am extremely excited to be able to offer this latest advancement in proton therapy to my patients,” said Dr. Collins. “It’s clear that this treatment will improve the clinical outcomes for our cancer patients and decrease their side effects when radiation is needed.”
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Proton Therapy Center is leading the way in the fight against cancer. “The future has never been brighter for the patients, families, and medical communities battling this disease,” said Dr. Collins.