If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, we are ready to help you.
In the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, proton therapy makes it possible to deliver a radiation dose to the tumor that is effective for its destruction. This increases the chance of an overall cure, while saving healthy tissues and organs in the area surrounding the tumor. Proton therapy is the gentlest irradiation method available.
Do not hesitate: make your appointment as soon as possible, and we will find the best solution together.
The term lung cancer includes malignant bronchial tumors and tumors that develop in the lung tissue. Lung cancer is the world’s most common form of cancer with respect to both incidence and mortality.
In terms of biological properties and treatment procedures, we divide lung cancer into small-cell and non-small cell lung cancer. Small-cell lung cancer accounts for about 20-25% of all lung cancers and is characterized by rapid growth and the early development of distant metastases, which is a reason for limited surgical treatment options.
Proton therapy is suitable for non-small cell lung carcinoma, which accounts for about 75-80% of lung tumors and usually shows slower growth compared to small cell carcinoma. Therefore, surgical removal is preferable in practice, provided the tumor has not developed metastatic deposits.
The disease has no early warning signs that would allow its detection at an early stage. Once the symptoms of the disease appear, the tumor is already advanced. Occasionally, a small tumor can be detected when examining the patient for another complaint.
A newly developed long-lasting cough or a change in the character of a chronic smoker’s cough can be a sign of lung cancer. About 80% of patients suffer from cough at the time of lung tumor diagnosis. Other symptoms are coughing up blood or streaks of blood in the sputum. Inflammation of the lungs that fails to resolve during antibiotic treatment or recurs at the same place is commonly reported.
To make the right decision, it is important to have information about the results of the treatment you choose. You should not forget that your decision will significantly affect your future life. Our doctors and the entire PTC team are ready to answer all your questions related to PROTON THERAPY.Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.
By simply comparing the risks and benefits generally associated with conventional and proton radiotherapy, you can conclude that proton therapy improves the patient’s chances of a cure without unnecessary side effects and complications associated with conventional radiation.
The main advantage of proton therapy is that it makes it possible to reduce the doses of radiation to the spinal cord and the second lung, thus significantly reducing the risk of developing radiation pneumonitis, esophagitis and secondary tumors. Since proton therapy allows irradiation of the tumor using fewer fields, it reduces the dose of radiation to the heart valves, coronary arteries and the heart muscle. Irradiation of these structures may result in early ischemic heart disease, valvular defects and cardiomyopathy. The risk of these problems is dependent on the dose, and any dose reduction is therefore highly desirable.
Therefore, it is necessary to choose a treatment that minimizes these risks. These requirements are best met by proton therapy.
The key to successful treatment is early diagnosis.
When treating lung cancer, it is highly desirable to reduce the radiation dose to the high-risk organs (lungs, esophagus, heart, and spinal cord) in order to maintain the patient’s quality of life as much as possible.
Due to the accuracy of the proton beam, you have a higher chance of a cure. Protons are able to target the tumor on its own and accurately distribute the dose of radiation needed to destroy the tumor. The exact dose distribution has its name: Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) and is currently the absolute peak of proton therapy. Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) works such that it only irradiates a defined area. Not more. By delivering repeated high-precision radiation targeted with millimeter accuracy directly to the tumor bed after resection, PBS destroys the tumor cells without damaging any surrounding organs and tissues due to the physical properties of the protons. PBS preserves healthy tissues. This also applies to the tissues in the direction of the beam in front of the tumor, which are only minimally irradiated.
To compare PBS with other techniques, imagine your focus and meticulous care when you are using crayons to paint a defined object on a piece of paper. For example, a circle. You will always try consistently not to cross its borders. That is how PBS works. In addition, you will have 100% confidence that they will “paint” only what is needed. This is why the adverse effects of proton therapy are minimal.
What our doctor says about treatment
Josef Kvěch MD
“Proton therapy has been shown to reduce the radiation dose to the healthy surrounding organs and minimize the patient’s total body burden of radiation. It reduces the dose to the heart muscle, valves and coronary arteries. Radiation dose reduction is of the utmost importance in lung carcinoma.”
Our patient’s story
George, a male with bilateral lung cancer, spinocellular carcinoma in the right pulmonary hilum and adenocarcinoma in the left upper lobe.
Doctors at the General University Hospital (VFN) agreed on radiation treatment and recommended proton therapy. The main challenge for Proton Center experts during the irradiation of bilateral lung cancer was to minimize the radiation dose to healthy parts of the lungs, heart and spinal cord.
Patients scheduled to undergo proton radiotherapy of the lungs should complete a small test; learn to breathe correctly or in other words, breathe regularly and in a controlled manner and hold their breath for about 20 seconds at a certain phase of the breathing cycle. Therefore, patients learn to breathe into a device called spirometer before starting the therapy. “I am very thankful for the care and wish to thank everyone at the Proton Center as well as other doctors, especially those at the VFN hospital, who have been trying to find the least burdensome treatment for me.”
Radiotherapy alone or combined with chemotherapy can be chosen for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Proton radiotherapy is one of the best achievements in contemporary radiotherapy.
Proton radiotherapy delivers radiation to the tumor only at the dose needed to destroy it, increasing the chances of overall healing while saving healthy tissues and organs around the tumor.
In contrast, conventional irradiation poses an increased risk of both acute and late effects due to the fact that healthy tissues are exposed to greater radiation. The most common adverse effects are breathing and swallowing difficulties, cough, tiredness and loss of appetite, and later an increased risk of ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction).
Proton beam therapy is a safer and more effective treatment compared to conventional radiation therapy. The goal of radiation therapy is to destroy the tumor while protecting the healthy tissues. This can be done by proton therapy, unlike commonly used conventional irradiation. Conventional radiotherapy always hits a part of the healthy tissue in the surrounding areas, where irradiation is not desirable.
Proton beams can irradiate the tumor while delivering no dose to the corresponding critical organ. A zero dose means a zero risk of adverse reactions. No patient will ever experience such adverse effects. Due to their physical properties, proton beams are able to stop in the tumor, thus significantly reducing the unwanted exposure of healthy tissues and organs.
Some advocates of conventional (photon) radiotherapy sometimes use a “magic formula” of “limit doses” to the critical organs. What does this mean? A patient is told that a limit dose to the critical organs will be observed. This is actually an “agreement” that we are accepting exposure of vital organs to unwanted radiation, but with a certain limit. But the patient is further told that adherence to the “limit dose” is associated with up to a 5% risk of adverse reactions. In addition, the risk increases with time, which means the longer a patient survives after irradiation, the higher the probability of adverse reactions.
Think carefully. The limit dose may not always be safe. And more importantly, safer and easily accessible proton therapy is available to rule out the risk.
The difference is seen with the naked eye in the graphical representation of irradiation plans.
The objective of the treatment is to deliver the required dose of radiation to the tumor (100%). Equally important, however, is not to irradiate the surrounding healthy tissues and organs. It is important to know that any higher value may cause subsequent complications. Proton therapy minimizes radiation exposure to healthy organs.
Treatment performed on an outpatient basis, painless, with no need for hospitalization.
Precise planning is the key and essential requirement for the success of treatment. Therefore, the team of clinical physicists and doctors will prepare a tailored radiation plan for each patient. The irradiation will occur on specific days and times reserved just for you. The irradiation itself takes a few minutes. The total time you will spend in our center should not exceed an hour.
The most important step is to make an appointment and be examined by our doctors. Experienced experts will evaluate your condition and suggest the best procedure.
The initial examination is free of charge, just call +420 222 999 000 to make an appointment or use our contact form here.
We have all the necessary instruments for accurate diagnosis under one roof, and you will undergo all the examinations without waiting.
We guarantee the top quality of the treatment, and therefore we use the most advanced diagnostic equipment, such as computed tomography (CT scanning), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scanning) and positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT scanning).
MONITORING BREATH AND BREATHING MOVEMENTS
As with any other tumors located in the chest area, it is necessary to use the deep breath technique and the SDX Dyn’R system. This is a proven approach with proven efficacy, eliminating differences in lung filling during the irradiation. The system is used as a primary gating device.
The result of these examinations is the exact localization of the tumor. To be able to use the proven and clear benefits of proton therapy, i.e. the possibility of perfectly targeting the beam that protects healthy tissue and increases the efficacy of treatment, our experts from the Department of Clinical Physics, together with the doctors will prepare detailed radiation plans tailored to each patient’s needs. This requires three to five days of preparation, and the result is a detailed description of the treatment determining the direction and intensity of the proton irradiation beam.
The treatment itself is performed on an outpatient basis. You will come to the Proton Center for regular visits. Before each irradiation, we will carefully review your position and check the radiation plans and all associated data governing the entire irradiation (known as verification). At least once a week, you will have a consultation with your doctor, who will discuss your treatment with you and check your health status.
Proton therapy has international recommendations
Lung cancer treatment is one of the treatments available at all proton centers of the world. In the US and Japan, this treatment has been available for more than 10 years.
The experience of experts from centers of global importance confirms that proton therapy significantly reduces adverse (undesirable) effects. In addition, with pencil beam scanning, the state-of-the-art technology also used by the Proton Center in Prague, the treatment is now even more accurate, more targeted and thereby safer.
Proton therapy is an increasingly recognized and preferred method in the world. The advantages are obvious and therefore new and new centers are opened and planned. At present, 71 centers are opened, 42 centers are just before the opening, and dozens more are planned. In visionary terms, we could predict with a relatively high degree of probability that proton beam irradiation will replace now frequently used conventional radiation therapy in the future.
The results and experience of the world’s proton centers also unambiguously confirm that proton therapy opens up entirely new possibilities in the treatment of head and neck tumors and offers patients a chance for a complete cure. Proton therapy can deliver the highest dose of radiation to the tumor, safely and without risks for the surrounding tissues. The added value of proton therapy compared to conventional (photon) therapy is that it spares healthy tissues around the tumor.
Ask yourself. Ask your doctor.
You have the right to a second opinion.
In practice, this means that your oncologist will certainly not be angry when you ask us whether proton therapy is suitable for you. Because if it is you will get the best possible treatment that is available in the today’s medical science. A treatment with minimum side effects. A treatment with truly excellent results.
Take the first step and write us to make a free appointent. Our doctors will take care of you without any delay.