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A critical appraisal of the clinical utility of proton therapy in oncology

Authors Wang D

Received 23 July 2015

Accepted for publication 23 September 2015

Published 28 October 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 439—446

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MDER.S65594

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Dongxu Wang

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA

Abstract: Proton therapy is an emerging technology for providing radiation therapy to cancer patients. The depth dose distribution of a proton beam makes it a preferable radiation modality as it reduces radiation to the healthy tissue outside the tumor, compared with conventional photon therapy. While theoretically beneficial, its clinical values are still being demonstrated from the increasing number of patients treated with proton therapy, from several dozen proton therapy centers around the world. High equipment and facility costs are often the major obstacle for its wider adoption. Because of the high cost and lack of definite clinical evidence of its superiority, proton therapy treatment faces criticism on its cost-effectiveness. Technological development is causing a gradual lowering of costs, and research and clinical studies are providing further evidence on its clinical utility.

Keywords: proton therapy, radiation, cancer, oncology

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