Proton Therapy for Lung Cancer: State of the Science

  • David A. Bush
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Proton radiation for cancer offers to the physician the ability to conform the high-dose region to the tumor while reducing the dose of radiation to adjacent normal tissues. In lung cancer this results in the ability to deliver higher doses to the targeted volume while yet permitting greater sparing of uninvolved and critical normal tissues: lung, heart, esophagus, and spinal cord. Studies comparing the distribution of radiation dose show that proton radiation is superior to photon radiation for lung cancer, even when factors such as respiratory motion are considered. Clinical experience confirms the feasibility of proton radiation for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancers; clinical trials are being performed in locally advanced tumors. Evidence accumulated thus far indicates that proton radiation should be further explored.


Dose Escalation Proton Beam Bragg Peak Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Gross Tumor Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Twice-daily treatment


(sometimes expressed as GyE) Cobalt gray equivalent, a means of expressing the proton dose in relation to Gray units (cf below) while allowing for the slightly higher radiobiologic effect of protons (i.e., 1.1 in relation to cobalt)


Clinical target volume


Gross tumor volume


Gray, standard radiation dose. A common daily fraction of photon-beam radiation is 2 Gy (or 200 centigray (cGy)); a 30-fraction course of radiation at that dose rate equates to a total dose of 60 Gy


Intensity-modulated proton therapy


Intensity-modulated radiation therapy


Non-small-cell lung cancer


Planned target volume


Stereotactic body radiation therapy



I would like to thank William Preston EdD for manuscript editing and preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation MedicineLoma Linda University Medical CenterLoma LindaUSA

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