Proton beam therapy (PBT) has been available to UK patients since 2008 through the NHS-funded overseas programme, and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has treated patients with rare eye cancers with low-energy protons for many years.
The average cost for treatment per patient for PBT is estimated at $200,000. According to the survey responses, inclusion of travel and accommodation for patients and caregivers can increase overall costs by an additional $50,000.
Which types of cancers can be treated with proton therapy? Proton therapy is most commonly used at MSK to treat head and neck cancer and pediatric cancers. We also are using it increasingly to treat spine tumors, breast cancer, sarcoma, brain tumors , and prostate cancer .
Proton therapy has shown promise in treating several kinds of cancer. Studies have suggested that proton therapy may cause fewer side effects than traditional radiation , since doctors can better control where the proton beams deposit their energy.
Particularly good candidates for proton therapy are patients with solid tumors near sensitive organs, such as brain, breast and lung cancers. While, for recurrent, pediatric and ocular cancers, proton radiation is viewed as the standard of care.
After 3 years, 46% of patients in the proton therapy group and 49% of those in the traditional radiation therapy group were cancer free. Fifty-six percent of people who received proton therapy and 58% of those who received traditional radiation were still alive after 3 years.
Proton therapy is covered in the United States by Medicare and many insurance providers. MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center accepts several major insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Our patient access specialists can work with your insurance carrier to define your benefits.
Like all treatments, proton therapy may produce unwanted side effects. These effects vary considerably from one patient to another. They depend on the dose (photons and protons) administered, the location of the treatment and the reactions of each patient. A special treatment is offered if such reactions occur.
Proton therapy is usually painless, and you can often return to your daily activities afterward. A typical course of treatment is five days per week for several weeks. The proton beam only treats you for a few minutes, but preparation and positioning take longer.
How do proton beams destroy cancer cells? All radiation therapies, including protons and X-rays, destroy cancer cells by damaging their DNA. When protons reach the nucleus (or center) of cancer cells, they transfer energy to the cells’ electrons causing a series of interactions, or ionizing events, that damage the DNA.
How many visits or treatments does it take to complete a course of proton therapy ? The number of treatments is dependent on the specific diagnosis but they can range anywhere from 5 treatments to 39.
In quite a few cancers , stage 4 means the cancer has spread (metastasised) to another part of the body to form secondary cancers (metastases). As a general rule cancers that have spread are difficult to treat and are unlikely to be cured in the long term, although treatment can help to shrink or control them.
Member Operating Centers Ackerman Cancer Center Proton Therapy Center. Beaumont Proton Therapy Center. California Protons Cancer Therapy Center. Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Proton Therapy Center / Proton Therapy at University of Cincinnati Medical Center . Emory Proton Therapy Center.
Proton therapy costs range from about $30,000 to $120,000. In contrast, a course of treatment with radiosurgery costs about $8,000-$12,000, Heron said. IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy ) costs about $15,000.
Proton therapy does not cause pain , though some patients with physical limitations may experience some discomfort due to positioning. The actual treatment and delivery of the proton beams only takes a couple of minutes.