The Oklahoma Proton Center is offering an accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) treatment for women with early stage breast cancer (stage 0, I and II) who have undergone breast-conserving surgery. The treatment is being offered through a multi-institutional clinical trial (NCT-01766297).
The treatments occur once a day over 10 days with each treatment taking 20 – 30 minutes. This is shorter than standard courses of radiation treatment for breast cancer which can take up to 33 business days to complete.
APBI with proton therapy uses precise proton beams to kill cancerous cells in a smaller area of the breast (partial breast) versus the whole breast or chest area while avoiding healthy tissue and critical organs such as the heart and lungs.
As part of its mission to advance the body of clinical research for proton therapy, The Oklahoma Proton Center has committed to capping out of pocket costs for patients enrolling in the trial to their cost for a standard course of traditional radiation treatment.
Because protons can be stopped inside the tumor, the doctors at Oklahoma Proton Center are often able to deliver significantly less radiation to the heart, lungs, and other healthy tissue than with treatments done with X-Ray based therapies such as IMRT. In the images below the various colors represent amounts of radiation which can be equivalent to 100,000s of dental X-Rays.
Dr. Mark Storey is the Medical Director at Oklahoma Proton Center. “The simple fact that protons stop make it the best treatment to spare the heart while treating the cancer,” said Dr. Storey. “We run comparative treatment plans and are able to show women the radiation dose difference to critical structures with protons and traditional radiation.”
In addition, the Oklahoma Proton Center utilizes multi-field skin sparing optimized treatment plans to mitigate the risks of skin burning and irritation during treatment.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 250,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year. Early breast cancer (stage I or II) is the most common invasive breast cancer in the U.S. With treatment, these patients generally have a good prognosis.
The use of APBI as a treatment protocol in early breast cancer has been growing in acceptance around the nation as clinical outcomes have shown it to be as effective in treating the cancer as standard courses of whole breast irradiation while reducing costs and side effects for patients as a result of the minimally invasive techniques utilized.
About proton therapy:
Proton therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer available in the U.S. Unlike other forms of radiation used in cancer care such as X-Rays, protons stop inside tumors thus reducing healthy tissue exposed to radiation. Nearly 200,000 patients have been treated with proton therapy worldwide. Protons are routinely used to treat solid tumors including prostate, breast, brain, head and neck, lung, esophageal, soft tissue and pediatric tumors.
About Oklahoma Proton Center
Oklahoma Proton Center (“OPC”) is a state-of-the-art proton therapy center in Oklahoma City, OK. The facility opened in August of 2009 and is one of just 32 proton centers in the country. As one of the early leaders in the field of proton therapy, OPC is dedicated to excellent patient care and advancing proton therapy through innovation and clinical research.