Revolutionary Method for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer accounts for almost 13% of all cancer diagnoses, with an estimated 228,190 new cases in 2013 alone.1 That is why doctors and scientists have been working tirelessly on lung cancer treatments that improve outcomes while minimizing risks and side effects. Proton therapy is one of the most revolutionary methods of treatment, especially for stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Proton therapy offers:

  • Similar efficacy to other forms of radiation2,3
  • Less unnecessary radiation to your heart, lung, and esophagus4
  • Significantly lower rates of pneumonitis and esophagitis (less inflammation of the lungs and esophagus) compared to X-ray radiation [3-D conformal radiation therapy (CRT) and Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)]3
Cadence Health Cancer Video
Watch a Video: Proton Therapy for Lung Tumors To learn more about other tumor types, visit our Video Library.

Proton Therapy Reduces Excess Radiation

Too much radiation to the healthy tissue surrounding a tumor can increase the risk of side effects. This is a major concern when it comes to radiation treatment for lung cancer because the cancer may be close to your heart, healthy lung, esophagus, and other critical organs. The unique properties of protons allow proton radiation to better conform to your cancer, reducing radiation to the healthy tissues and organs around it.

Clinical Evidence for Efficacy

The image on the right shows the amount of radiation that the body receives during treatment for stage III NSCLC with proton therapy in comparison to X-ray/IMRT treatment. Colors indicate areas of the body that received radiation. Compared to IMRT, proton therapy significantly reduced the dose of radiation to surrounding tissue, especially the heart and the healthy lung.

The data in support of proton therapy and its unique advantages continues to grow. In a study with stage III NSCLC patients, proton therapy is estimated to reduce 34% of radiation to the heart and 45% to the healthy lung when compared to IMRT.4 A separate study from M.D. Anderson demonstrated that proton therapy had better than expected median survivorship, lower local recurrence, and improved side effects compared to historical controls.3 Comparison across studies evaluating high dose X-Ray radiation and high dose proton radiation for locally advanced lung cancer suggests better treatment tolerability as well as outcomes with proton therapy.2, 5

It is based on these data that the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center has targeted intrathoracic tumors, particularly lung cancers as an area of tremendous benefit for our patients. Since its inception, our center has treated nearly 100 intrathoracic tumors including many challenging primary and recurrent lung cancers. As our multidisciplinary thoracic oncology program continues to grow, we look forward to providing this leading-edge treatment to many more patients.

Chicago Proton Center
In a study with stage III NSCLC patients, proton therapy is estimated to reduce 34% of radiation to the heart and 45% to the healthy lung when compared to IMRT.4
Chicago Proton Center

Are You a Candidate for Proton Therapy?

You should consider proton therapy if you:

  • Have locally advanced lung cancer
  • Need concurrent chemotherapy
  • Have had prior radiation therapy
  • Have limited or poor pulmonary function

Choosing the right treatment for your lung cancer is an important decision that should be made with your physician. Request more information or call 877.887.5807 to learn if you can benefit from proton therapy.

Contact Us

To discover if you or a loved one could benefit from proton therapy, please call us at 877.887.5807 (TTY for hearing impaired, call 630.933.4833) or request more information.