TU-G-BRB-00: Clinical Trials in Proton and Particle Therapy



Proton therapy, in particular, and ion therapy, just beginning, are becoming an increasing focus of attention in clinical radiation oncology and medical physics. Both modalities have been criticized of lacking convincing evidence from randomized trials proving their efficacy, justifying the higher costs involved in these therapies.

This session will provide an overview of the current status of clinical trials in proton therapy, including recent developments in ion therapy. As alluded to in the introductory talk by Dr. Schulte, opinions are diverging widely as to the usefulness and need for clinical trials in particle therapy and the challenge of equipoise. The lectures will highlight some of the challenges that surround clinical trials in particle therapy. One, presented by Dr. Choy from UT Southwestern, is that new technology and even different types of particles such as helium and carbon ions are introduced into this environment, increasing the phase space of clinical variables. The other is the issue of medical physics quality assurance with physical phantoms, presented by Mrs. Taylor from IROC Houston, which is more challenging because 3D and 4D image guidance and active delivery techniques are in relatively early stages of development. The role of digital phantoms in developing clinical treatment planning protocols and as a QA tool will also be highlighted by Dr. Lee from NCI.

The symposium will be rounded off by a panel discussion among the Symposium speakers, arguing pro or con the need and readiness for clinical trials in proton and ion therapy.

Learning Objectives:

  • 1.To get an update on the current status of clinical trials allowing or mandating proton therapy.
  • 2.Learn about the status of planned clinical trials in the U.S. and worldwide involving ion therapy.
  • 3.Discuss the challenges in the design and QA of clinical trials in particle therapy.
  • 4.Learn about existing and future physical and computational anthropomorphic phantoms for charged particle clinical trial development and support.

Research reported in this presentation is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National; Institutes of Health under Award Number P20CA183640.