In order to choose the optimal treatment, it is important to receive comprehensive and comprehensible information. If radiotherapy has been recommended to you, ask your treating oncologist about all the available irradiation methods as well as treatment-related side effects. These may significantly affect the quality of your life during and after treatment. Our physicians have many years of experience in radiotherapy. Moreover, they are experienced in both standard (photon) and proton radiation therapy and are prepared to answer all of your questions.
ENT (ear, nose, throat) tumours are a common diagnosis treated at proton centres around the world. The reason is the complexity of the target volumes, which often does not allow the administration of curative doses while respecting the tolerated doses to critical organs.
In addition to increasing curability, the aim is to reduce late side effects and maintain the quality of life of the patients.
Indications for Proton Radiotherapy
- Tumours of paranasal sinuses
- Tumours of salivary glands
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
- Base of skull tumours (chordoma, chondrosarcoma)
- Tonsil tumours
- Eye socket tumours
- Middle and inner ear tumours
- Metastasis (the cancer has spread from its primary location to other organs)
- Metal/ceramic parts in the radiation field
- Presence of a pacemaker
Advantages of Proton Therapy
- Significant dose reduction of undesirable radiation to the brain, preventing the risk of developing memory impairment.
- Significant dose reduction of undesirable radiation to the spinal cord by up to 80%, preventing the development of myelopathy accompanied by movement impairment or even paralysis.
- Significant dose reduction to all optic structures (macula, cornea, retina, optic nerve), mitigating the risk of visual impairment or loss.
- Lower risk of hearing impairment or loss, namely at high frequencies.
- Significant dose reduction to the structure of swallowing pathways, decreasing the probability of swallowing difficulties, saliva production disorder, and necessary insertion of a nutrition feeding tube into the stomach (PEG).
The advantages of proton therapy are based on physical laws and proton properties. The main advantage being the Bragg peak, which allows the beam to deliver the radiation dose with high accuracy directly into the tumour. Healthy tissue lying in front of tumour is preserved and there is complete protection of healthy tissue behind the tumour. Proton therapy also allows for an increased dose to the tumour target volume, thereby increasing the likelihood of local disease control.
“Proton therapy significantly reduces the level of toxicity. It means that the number of hospitalisations and the use of a PEG tube after proton treatment is almost zero“ says Dr. Kubes, Medical Director of the Prague Proton Therapy Center.
When comparing conventional and proton radiotherapy, there is a clear benefit in reducing the burden on the healthy tissues while increasing the dose delivered to the tumour. This dose reduction is not limited to a single organ, it is a complete reduction of radiation exposure to healthy tissues.
International treatment protocols and organisations, such as ASTRO (American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology), recommend considering proton radiotherapy for selected head and neck diagnoses.
To learn more about proton therapy for head, neck & orofacial tumours, or to find out if you are a suitable candidate for treatment at our centre, contact us today. Our team will get back to you with a detailed response as soon as possible.