Proton beam therapy is an emerging technology with promise of
revolutionizing the treatment of cancer. While nearly half of all
patients diagnosed with cancer in the US receive radiation therapy,
the majority is delivered via electron accelerators, where photons
are used to irradiate cancerous tissue. Because of the physical
properties of photon beams, photons may deposit energy along their
entire path length through the body. On the other hand, a
protonbeamdirected ata tumor travels in a straight trajectory
towards its target, gives off most of its energy at a defined depth
called the Bragg peak, and then stops. While photons often deposit
more energy within the healthy tissues of the body than within the
cancer itself, protons can deposit most of their cancer-killing
energy within the area of the tumor. As a result, in the properly
selected patients, proton beam therapy has the ability to improve
cure rates by increasing the dose delivered to the tumor and
simultaneously reduce side-effects by decreasing the dose to
surrounding tissue. The benefits of proton beam therapy in
delivering a lethal hit to the target while sparing surrounding
normal tissues from radiation are becoming applicable to an
increasing number of patients and a growing list of conditions. In
this book, the author will guide the reader through existing
evidence supporting proton beam therapy for pediatric cancer,
prostate cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, spinal tumors, and
several other conditions. The book will discuss which conditions
are suitable for treatment with proton beam therapy, how the
treatment is delivered, and the current data supporting its
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