, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 199-208

Proton Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer—Is the Hype (and the Cost) Justified?

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Abstract

Although in use for over 40 years, proton beam therapy for prostate cancer has only recently come under public scrutiny, due to its increased cost compared to other forms of treatment. While the last decade has seen a rapid accumulation of evidence to suggest that proton beam therapy is both safe and effective in this disease site, a rigorous comparison to other radiotherapy techniques has not yet been completed. In this review, we provide an in-depth look at the evidence both supporting and questioning proton beam therapy’s future role in the treatment of prostate cancer, with emphasis on its history, physical properties, comparative clinical and cost effectiveness, advances in its delivery and future promise.