The University of Florida offers proton therapy for brain cancer treatment.
Proton therapy for brain tumors is generally recommended because of the tumor’s proximity to delicate and vitally important tissues and structures. What’s more, primary brain cancer tumors generally start – and stay – in the brain, making them even more eligible for proton therapy.
Because proton therapy is so precise, brain cancer treatment with proton therapy allows for potentially higher doses of radiation to target brain cancer, with less damage to surrounding tissues. Proton treatment for brain tumors can produce successful outcomes.
About Brain Tumors and Brain Cancer
Most brain tumors are benign, and usually stem from the meninges (layers of tissue that cover the brain), from nerve sheaths, or from the pituitary gland. On the other hand, malignant brain tumors usually begin in the glial cells or astrocytes (both neuronal supportive tissues) and are called astrocytoma or oligodendroglioma. These brain cancer tumors vary in their malignancy, from grade I (best prognosis) to grade IV (worst prognosis).
Lymphoma and ependymoma are other tumor types that can appear in the brain.
While brain tumors may be treated with surgical removal, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, a combination of these treatments is often necessary. Surgery may be recommended to remove as much of the tumor as possible, but most brain tumors are not cured by surgery alone and may require radiation therapy to eradicate the remaining cancer cells. When radiation is indicated, proton therapy can be used with fewer side effects. Brain tumors treated include:
low grade gliomas
CNS primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET)
atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor
A Confident Choice: Proton Therapy for Brain Cancer Treatment.
In cases where surgery and radiation are combined, proton therapy is an ideal part of brain cancer treatment. Different brain tumors require different doses of radiation for control and eradication. Like any other organ in the body, the brain can only tolerate a limited amount of radiation. Because high doses of radiation can damage normal tissue, image-based radiation planning is used to deliver high doses of proton radiation to the tumor with the lowest possible dose to the surrounding tissue. With proton therapy, highly precise beams of protons eliminate the “exit doses” characteristic of traditional radiation treatments, so the protons target only the site of the brain tumor, sparing other parts of the brain.