Proton Therapy For
Gastrointestinal (GI tract) cancer can occur in the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, bile duct, liver, colon, rectum and anus. Finding the right treatment for GI tract cancer can be very challenging because of the sensitive tissues and organs that make up this system of the body. Traditional radiation and its broad treatment spectrum can adversely impact healthy organs that are located nearby the GI tract, such as the kidneys, bowel and small intestines. The inability to narrowly target radiation is of concern to physicians because even low doses of radiation can cause damage and significant side effects to the important bodily functions carried out by GI tract organs. That is why Proton Therapy and its laser-like precision is such an important advancement in the administration of radiation to fight cancer.
How Proton Therapy Improves GI Cancer Treatment
Proton Therapy has the dexterity to move deep within the body to treat hard-to-reach cancers in the GI tract, without posing a substantial threat to the digestive system and neighboring organs. This limits potential side effects that can negatively impact the patient’s health and quality of life during treatment. Proton Therapy also increases treatment options for the patient because unlike traditional radiation therapy, it can be safely combined with surgery.
Common Gastrointestinal Cancers Treated with Proton Therapy:
- Bile duct
“Proton therapy has proven to be a highly effective treatment for patients living with esophageal cancer.
Recent research has shown that proton therapy can be an effective treatment option for patients living with esophageal cancer, associated with fewer post-operative complications and shorter hospital stays. A 2013 study of nearly 450 patients with esophageal cancer found that those who received proton therapy had fewer gastrointestinal and pulmonary toxicities than patients who received photon therapy.” said Daniel E. Smith, President of the Alliance for Proton Therapy Access.
Meet Dr. Rich
Dr. Tyvin A. Rich specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal and lung cancers. With more than 30 years of experience, he is recognized in the United States as one of the top doctors in his field. Dr. Rich has received numerous awards for leadership and clinical excellence and is a prolific author, having published more than 200 papers and book chapters in his area of specialty.
Pancreas tumors are very frustrating and difficult because the pancreas is right next to the duodenum—the bowel—and that limits the dose of conventional therapy we can use. But proton therapy gives us a technique that we believe can help patients with pancreatic tumors.