Dr. Gary Larson talks about Treating Lung Cancer with Proton Therapy

Lung cancer is another area that we’re getting a lot of good results in with proton beam therapy. Most lung cancer is treated with a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and the side effects can be severe—frequently to the point that people can’t swallow enough to maintain their nutrition during treatment and have to have other methods of getting nutrition into their body.

With proton beam irradiation, the patients I have treated with lung cancer have had almost no problems like that. When they get to the end of their course of treatment, they haven’t lost weight, they’re not uncomfortable; they’ve received the same doses of chemotherapy that we’ve always given to patients with a similar tumor type and stage. But they feel pretty much normal when they get done. They get the same dose of radiation to the tumor as we would give with conventional radiation with far fewer side effects.