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Proton Beam Radiation Therapy Shows Promise in Mesothelioma Patients

Researchers from the PARTNER network (Particle Training Network for European Radiotherapy) offered a workshop this year to show others in the field how the use of hadron therapy, using protons or light ions, can be more effective in the treatment of certain cancers than the traditional form of radiotherapy.

A Swedish group of oncologists are also encouraging the therapy saying proton therapy in mesothelioma patients can be used to give a better limitation of the dose in lung tissue and the tissue can, thus, facilitate a higher tumor dose.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelial cells, caused by breathing in asbestos fibers that become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, it can be treated with varying degrees of success through the use of surgical procedures, chemotherapy and radiation.

The mesothelioma tumors are often located close to other organs which limits the ability of the oncologists to order radiation treatment in high enough doses to successfully attack the cancer. However, by using beams of hadrons for radiotherapy, deep-seated tumors can be targeted with greater precision limiting damage to the surrounding tissue.

The PARTNER network is fueling and encouraging proton beam research in the next generation of researchers. Designed as a training program for young researchers, PARTNER brings together students from ten European institutes. PARTNER believes that “potentially hadron therapy can have a very major impact on health of citizens.”

In their paper “The Potential of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy in Lung Cancer (Including Mesothelioma),” researchers found that in Sweden approximately 20 mesothelioma patients per year can benefit from the proton beam therapy. They further say that if chemotherapy is developed in the future that better targets the mesothelioma than the followup radiation therapy may benefit more patients.


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Nancy Meredith is a blog and web content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry. She has been writing about Mesothelioma for 4 years. Follow Nancy on Google+

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