Proton Therapy for Sarcoma
Proton therapy is an advanced treatment option that precisely delivers radiation to the size, shape and depth of your tumor. This approach allows your doctor to radiate the cancer while limiting damage to the surrounding tissue. For this reason, proton therapy is particularly good for treating tumors near healthy organs, including sarcomas.
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When is Proton Therapy Appropriate for Treatment of Sarcoma?
Sarcomas are cancers that develop in the body’s connective tissues such as bones, muscles, fat, nerves and cartilage. Sarcomas are extremely rare, making up only 1% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States. Sarcomas are usually divided into bone cancers and soft tissue cancers.
Depending on type, location and stage of the cancer, sarcomas can be treated in a variety of ways. Typical treatment options include proton therapy, standard radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, cryotherapy and RF ablation. Proton therapy is an especially important treatment option if:
- the tumor is located in the abdomen or close to critical organs
- the patient is trying to preserve particular functions, such as fertility
- a patient has had prior radiation
- the disease is recurrent
Recurring sarcomas may appear in different locations around the body. Protons can spare healthy tissue surrounding the tumor and minimize the area exposed to radiation. This is especially important if treatment is required several times over a life expectancy of many years.
Treatment that removes or destroys all or part of a cancer; can also be used to remove or stop the function of an organ. For example, removing the ovaries or testicles or taking medicines that cause them to stop making their hormones would be called ablation. Besides surgery and drug treatment, other ways of ablating body tissues and tumors include extreme heat, freezing and chemicals.
Sarcomas That May Be Appropriate for Proton Therapy:
- Myxoid liposarcoma
- Well differentiated liposarcoma
- Dedifferentiated liposarcoma
- Pleomorphic liposarcoma
- Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma
- Clear cell sarcoma
- Spine Sarcoma
- Ewing’s sarcoma
- Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
- Synovial sarcoma
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Many Childhood Sarcomas