Reduced Side Effects for all, Increased Potential for Prolonged Survival in Some

Primary brain tumors are difficult to treat, depending upon the proximity of the tumor to the many essential organs in the region. By reducing radiation dose to these organs, proton therapy can decrease side effects and risks, and/or allow higher doses of radiation to increase the chance of prolonged survival.

Current indications for proton therapy for adult primary Brain tumors, and the benefits of proton treatment, include:

Low- grade glioma (Diffuse astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, etc.)

  • Patients exhibit stability in cognitive function [1]
  • QOL assessment revealed no change over time [2]

High- grade glioma (Anaplastic astrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, glioblastoma, etc.)

  • Proton therapy improves patient tolerance of high-dose radiation therapy necessary to prolong overall survival[3]

Meningioma (benign, atypical, malignant, etc.)

  • Proton therapy roughly decreases the total radiation dose delivered to the brain by half dramatically diminishing the risk of late radiation induced cancers [4]

Recurrent brain tumors following conventional radiation therapy

  • Proton therapy allows for effective radiation dose delivery while sparing normal tissues that have previously been irradiated [5]

1. Sherman JC, Colvin MK, Mancuso SM, Batchelor TT, Oh KS, Loeffler JS, Yeap BY, Shih HA (2016). Neurocognitive effects of proton radiation therapy in adults with low-grade glioma. J Neurooncol, 126(1):157-64.

2. Shih HA, Sherman JC, Nachtigall LB, Colvin MK, Fullerton BC, Daartz J, Winrich BK, Batchelor TT, Thornton LT, Mancuso SM, Saums MK, Oh KS, Curry WT, Loeffler JS, Yeap BY (2015). Proton therapy for low-grade gliomas: Results from a prospective trial. Cancer. 121(10):1712-9.

3. Adeberg S, Bernhardt D, Harrabi SB, Uhl M, Paul A, Bougatf N, Verma V, Unterberg A, Wick W, Haberer T, Combs SE, Herfarth K, Debus J, Rieken S (2017). Sequential proton boost after standard chemoradiation for high-grade glioma. Radiother Oncol. 125(2):266-272.

4. Arvold ND, Niemierko A, Broussard GP, Adams J, Fullerton B, Loeffler JS, Shih HA (2012). Projected second tumor risk and dose to neurocognitive structures after proton versus photon radiotherapy for benign meningioma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 83(4):e495-500.

5. Mizumoto M, Okumura T, Ishikawa E, Yamamoto T, Takano S, Matsumura A, Oshiro Y, Ishikawa H, Sakurai H, Tsuboi K (2013). Reirradiation for recurrent malignant brain tumor with radiotherapy or proton beam therapy. Technical considerations based on experience at a single institution. Strahlenther Onkol. 189(8):656-63.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Savage, Administrator, Department of Radiation Medicine

Phone: 202-444-4639

Email: [email protected]