Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Technological and Clinical Aspects

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Proton beam therapy (PBT) is an up-coming technology within the framework of radiation oncology. To date, patients with low to intermediate prostate cancer represent the largest group of patients treated with protons. This patient group was of special interest because of expected low toxicity and high tumor control rates. However, there is no published data demonstrating a benefit for protons compared to other radiation modalities. Therefore, prospective randomized phase III trials comparing photon radiation (RT) with that of PBT are needed including evaluation of quality of life after treatment. On the other hand, PBT might be superior to other radiation techniques for advanced prostate cancer where there is a need for pelvic lymph node irradiation, especially in younger patients with a long life expectancy. Also for this sub-group of prostate cancer patients prospective randomized phase III trials comparing RT and PBT are needed. The significance of PBT within the framework of modern radiation oncology in general will be dependent on accrual of scientific data of treated patients. Smaller and less cost-intensive facility layouts with faster beam application are needed. Permanent establishment of protons in radiation therapy will also be dependent on financial resources provided by healthcare systems. That will be finally a political discussion in most countries.


Risk Prostate Cancer Proton Therapy Proton Radiation Therapy Helical Tomotherapy Facility Layout 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Proton TherapyPaul Scherrer InstituteVilligenSwitzerland

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