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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front Med    2012, Vol. 6 Issue (2) : 165-172     DOI: 10.1007/s11684-012-0196-4
Particle therapy for cancers: a new weapon in radiation therapy
Guo-Liang Jiang()
Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center,Shanghai 200032, China
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Particle irradiation started to draw attention in the past decade and has now become a hotspot in the radiation oncology community. This article reviews the most advanced developments in particle irradiation, focusing on the characteristics of proton and carbon ions in radiation physics and radiobiology. The Bragg peak of physical dose distribution causes proton and carbon beams to optimally meet the requirement for cancer irradiation because the Bragg peak permits the accurate concentration of the dose on the tumor, thus sparing the adjacent normal tissues. Moreover, carbon ion has more radiobiological benefits than photon and proton beams. These benefits include stronger sterilization effects on intrinsic radio-resistant tumors and more effective killing of hypoxic, G0, and S phase cells. Compared with the most advanced radiation techniques using photon, such as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy, proton therapy has yielded more promising outcomes in local control and survival for head and neck cancers, prostate carcinoma, and pediatric cancers. Carbon therapy in Japan showed even more promising results than proton therapy. The local controls and overall survivals were as good as that treated by surgery in early stages of non-small cell lung cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, and head and neck cancers, especially for such highly resistant tumors as melanoma. The non-invasive nature of particle therapy affords more patients with chances to receive and benefit from treatment. Particle therapy is gradually getting attention from the oncology community. However, the cost of particle therapy facilities has limited the worldwide use of this technology.

Keywords radiation therapy      particle therapy      proton      carbon      cancer     
Corresponding Authors: Jiang Guo-Liang,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2012
URL:     OR
Fig.1  Physical dose distributions of photon, proton and carbon beams. Irradiation dose to skin is taken as 100%. There is a tumor located 10 cm to 16 cm beneath the skin.
Fig.2  Cell survival curves after X-ray and “Bragg peak” irradiation of carbon ion (illustration). Curves with hollow circles (oxia), squares (chronic hypoxia), and triangles (acute hypoxia) are irradiated by X-ray, and those with solid circles, squares, and triangles are irradiated by carbon beam.
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