Southfield’s Beaumont Health Invents New Mode of Proton Therapy for Lung Cancer


Beaumont Health in Southfield Tuesday announced it has invented a new mode of proton treatment for lung cancer.

“A continuous proton arc treatment can significantly reduce the adverse effects of respiration-induced motion on lung cancer treatments,” says Dr. Peyman Kabolizadeh, clinical director of the Beaumont Proton Therapy Center in Royal Oak. “This advancement will also result in a better and lower dose of radiation to adjacent organs.”

The research was recently presented at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology meeting – ESTRO 37 Congress in Barcelona.

“The promising results might lead to interest and future development of the proton arc therapy technique,” says Kabolizadeh. “Beaumont continues to be a center of new treatment development through research.”

Beaumont’s center is one of 28 proton therapy centers in the United States, and the only operational proton therapy center in Michigan. It opened in 2017.

“Our IBA ProteusOne single-room treatment system includes precision technologies,” says Kabolizadeh. “Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy with Pencil Beam Scanning technology and 3-D Cone Beam CT can target a tumor within less than a millimeter.”

Pencil beam scanning refers to the delivery of protons in a thin beam that uses a back and forth motion to target the treatment area, essentially “painting” a radiation dose on tumors layer by layer. X-ray beams pass through a patient, while proton beams deliver targeted radiation to the tumor and then stop, resulting in no exit dose.

Proton therapy is a high-tech alternative to X-ray radiation. It uses a beam of proton radiation with online image guidance and offers greater precision to destroy cancerous cells while sparing adjacent healthy tissue with fewer side effects. It uses positively charged atomic particles that travel up to two-thirds the speed of light.

A cyclotron, or particle accelerator, creates protons from hydrogen molecules. The proton beam is sent to the treatment room through a transport system consisting of magnets, called the beam line. They arrive in the gantry, a device that rotates around the patient, and the beam is directed to the patient through a nozzle that targets the tumor.

Proton therapy is not effective against all cancers but is effective in treating many solid and localized tumors.

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