In a nutshell
This article reviewed the use of proton therapy in adult patients with lymphoma in the mediastinum (the middle section of the chest around the lungs).
Many lymphomas are found in the mediastinum, next to the heart, lungs, and breasts. These organs are especially sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In adult survivors, long-term side effects of these treatments can include heart disease and secondary cancers.
Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses proton beams instead of X-rays. Protons are charged particles that deliver energy to living tissue. Compared to conventional radiation therapy, proton therapy can target the tumor while reducing the amount of radiation exposure to healthy tissue. This can help reduce long-term side effects, which can be especially advantageous for younger patients.
Methods & findings
There are two types of proton therapy. Passive scattering proton therapy delivers radiation to the whole tumor all at once. The proton beam is delivered through a special metal disc that is cut to match the shape of the patient’s tumor. Pencil beam scanning proton therapy delivers radiation to small, specific areas. Because the beam is small, it is more precise and can be moved around.
Certain patients may benefit from proton therapy. These include patients with disease only on one side of the heart, young female patients and heavily pre-treated patients. For young female patients, proton therapy can reduce the amount of radiation exposure to the breasts. This can lower the risk of developing secondary breast cancer, which is especially important in patients under the age of 35. Heavily pre-treated patients who have a higher risk of side effects on the heart or lungs may also benefit from proton therapy.
The use of proton therapy for lymphomas in the mediastinum is promising. However, proton therapy is not offered at every treatment center. Patients should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some patients may benefit more from other therapies.
The bottom line
This article reviewed the use of proton therapy in adults with mediastinal lymphoma. Certain groups of patients may benefit from proton therapy, including young women and heavily pre-treated patients.
If you have mediastinal lymphoma, talk to your care team about the potential benefits of proton therapy.
Published By :
Aug 14, 2018
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