The greater precision of proton therapy spares healthy organs, allowing a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to base-of-skull tumors. The higher the dose, the better the tumor can be controlled.1
Treatable base-of-skull tumors include chordomas and chondrosarcomas. Tumors in the base-of-skull region are difficult to treat because they are often close to critical structures such as the brainstem, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The location of these tumors often makes surgical removal difficult and limits the dose of radiation that can be delivered. Proton therapy can be particularly appropriate for these tumors because it minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
Since these tumors are found at a shallow depth, proton therapy is able to deliver radiation precisely to the tumor with low risk of affecting tissues of the brain and spinal cord.1 The greater precision of proton therapy spares more healthy tissues while effectively treating base-of-skull tumors.
1. Rutz HP, Weber DC, Sugahara S, et al. Extracranial chordoma: outcome in patients treated with function-preserving surgery followed by spot-scanning photon beam irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007;67(2):512-520.