Proton beam therapy (PT) has a significant advantage over intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) when it comes to improving disease-free survival and tumor control in patients with head and neck cancers according to a study by Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists.
The study was published in Lancet Oncology and involved a systematic review of the literature on outcomes of proton beam therapy compared to IMRT. The analysis included studies of patients who had had no previous treatment, as well as patients who had a recurrent disease. They collected data on overall survival, disease-free survival, and tumor control at five years and at the patient’s longest follow-up.
They found disease-free survival to be significantly higher at 5 years for patients receiving proton beam therapy (72%) compared to those receiving IMRT (50%). The rates on tumor control didn’t differ between the two groups at 5 years, but was significantly higher for patients receiving proton beam therapy (81%) than those undergoing IMRT (64%) at the longer follow-up period.