Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Case Study

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According to Ministry of Health (2017), cancer is currently the leading cause of death in Singapore, accounting for 29.6% of deaths in 2016. Approximately 1 out of every 4 – 5 Singaporeans have the risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. (National Registry of Diseases Office, 2016) One of the main ways in treating cancer would be through Radiation Therapy. It is often used as a curative treatment alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapy depending on the type of cancer. However, toxicities associated with radiation therapy using photons can be significant due to the characteristic properties of the photon beam. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), an advanced type of radiation therapy technique that uses photons …show more content…
Out of 64,341 Singaporeans that are newly diagnosed with cancer from the period of 2011 - 2015, a total of 7,121 Singaporeans, consisting of both genders, are diagnosed with lung cancer. (National Registry of Diseases Office, 2016) The mortality rate for lung cancer in both gender was doubled of the incidence rate across that period. The challenge in treating lung cancer would be to deliver an effective dose to the target volume without risking damage to the critical structures. With proton therapy, oncologists can perhaps deliver highly effective and precise dose to the exact location of the tumor. Therefore, it is possible to reduce side effects with proton therapy, especially when patients are presented with complications when they are diagnosed with lung cancer. In a study done by Chang et al. (2006), it was reported that proton therapy has the ability to significantly reduce dose to the critical structures such as the heart, esophagus, and cord while having dose escalation to the tumor target. Shioyama et al., (2003) reported that patients that had received proton therapy treatment had shown little late toxicity with a minority of the patients experiencing acute lung toxicity of Grade 2 or more. It was also reported that "Proton therapy is a very effective treatment for patients with NSCLC, especially for those with early stages, poor …show more content…
With its unique physical property of depositing its maximum energy at the end of the range while producing a low entrance and almost negligible exit dose, it is able to provide many opportunities for planners to treat the various cancer types. It is able to provide an excellent reduction in dose to the surrounding normal tissues and allows for dose escalation to the target volume. As proton therapy is still a relatively new technique with recent implementation in other countries, it is essential to do more research and data collection before purchasing the proton facility. However, based on the current pieces of literature, proton therapy has proven itself to be beneficial for Singapore in treating cancer such as lung and breast cancer, which holds the highest mortality records from the period of 2011 –

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