Proton therapy is a new form of radiation therapy that uses a proton, rather than photon, beam to deliver radiation to cancer lesions. Because the proton particle delivers virtually all of its energy into the tumor it’s focused on, the normal tissues behind the tumor are spared radiation. Medical scientists theorized that this physical property of proton particles would reduce the side effects typically experienced with traditional radiation, a theory which is being tested in several ongoing clinical trials, mostly involving breast, prostate and lung cancer.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology in December 2020 provided initial evidence to support this theory.
Proton therapy is available at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where you can participate in one of the three ongoing clinical trials, or explore the option of being treated outside of a clinical trial.
Three proton therapy specialists also practice here at the UAB Medicine-Russell Medical Cancer center. If you are interested in exploring proton therapy as an option for treating your cancer, you can have a face-to-face consultation here on our campus, with one of the three proton therapy specialists: Dr. Hunter Boggs; Dr. Michael Soike, or Dr. Adam Kole. Call us at (256) 329-7888 to set up an appointment.