the study find that the proton therapy resulted in cure rates similar to those of X-ray radiation therapy; the study finds. Study is the first major side-by-side comparison of side effects related to proton therapy and X-ray radiation therapy. Therefore It included almost 1,500 patients receiving combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy for lung, brain, head and neck, gastrointestinal; and gynecologic cancers that had not yet spread to other parts of the body.
Comparison of side effects
These patients receive both radiation and chemotherapy; because a treatment regimen that often cures nonmetastatic cancer. But it also causes severe side effects such as difficulty swallowing, nausea, and diarrhea that reduce quality of life and can, in some cases, require hospitalization
After controlling for differences between the groups; therefore such as age and additional medical problems, the researchers found that patients receiving proton therapy experienced a two-thirds reduction in the relative risk of severe side effects within 90 days of treatment; but compared with patients receiving X-ray radiation therapy.
Additional medical problems
Forty-five of 391 patients receiving proton therapy experienced a severe side effect in the 90-day time frame (11.5 percent). In the X-ray radiation therapy group; 301 of 1,092 patients experienced a severe side effect in the same period (27.6 percent). Researchers gathered patient data on side effects as the trial was ongoing, rather than after the fact.
“Proton therapy is associate with a substantial reduction in the rates of severe acute side effects those that cause unplanned hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room compared with conventional photon, or X-ray, radiation for patients treated with concurrent radiation and chemotherapy;” says Baumann, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Washington University and an adjunct assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Radiation and chemotherapy
“The opportunity to reduce the risk of severe side effects for patients and thereby improve their quality of life is very exciting to me. While there have been other studies suggesting that proton therapy may have fewer side effects; they were somewhat surprised by the large magnitude of the benefit;” Baumann says.
The researchers focus their study on what are call grade 3 adverse events, which are severe enough to require hospitalization. Theseinclude pain; difficulty swallowing that might result in weight loss, difficulty breathing, and nausea and diarrhea severe enough to cause dehydration. The researchers also find no differences between the two groups in survival, suggesting that proton therapy was just as effective in treating the cancer even as it caused fewer side effects.