Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will soon start working on the comparison of the efficiency of the proton beam therapy and the standard radiation therapy for the prostate cancer treatment.
Proton beam therapy, which is a controlled and targeted way to administer radiation to the tumors, and which is costly than the standard radiation therapy, has become a controversial therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer.
[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]Massachusetts General Hospital will enroll its first patients by early June and the study will take five years to be completed. The study will take place in the six centers across U.S. including the state of Pennsylvania.
It has been estimated that such therapy facilities would be doubled in five years across the country with a cost of $200 million for each facility.
“Is the additional cost for proton beam therapy worth it?’’ said Dr. Jason Efstathiou, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and Mass. General. “Ultimately, we need to figure out if these new emerging high-technology therapies being introduced into medical care provide a benefit. . . . This trial will determine whether or not the more expensive therapy leads to a better quality of life.’’
Theoretically, Proton therapy is beneficial as through this technique researcher can target the cancer cells without destroying the healthy cells.
“By exposing less normal tissue to radiation, you will ultimately cause fewer secondary malignancies; that’s one of the serious, devastating late effects of radiation in children,’’ said Dr. Karen Marcus, a pediatric radiation oncologist at the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.
However, according to a review published earlier this year by The American Society for Radiation Oncology’s emerging technology committee, proton therapy has not been found to be better than the standard radiation therapy. Moreover, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, proton therapy caused more gestational problems than the standard radiation therapy.