New Radiation Treatment For Left-Sided Breast Cancer Spares Heart, Lungs

University Hospitals brings to breast cancer patients a revolutionary new treatment that spares surrounding organs from unnecessary doses of radiation particularly dose to the heart.

The first hospital in Ohio to provide proton therapy for cancer patients, UH is now offering this precision treatment for breast cancer. Last summer, UH began offering treatment to adults and pediatric patients at its new Proton Therapy Center on main campus for localized tumors, such as those in the head, neck, lungs and spinal cord. For patients with breast cancer on the left side, proton therapy significantly reduces harmful radiation to the heart and other organs like the lung.

“With proton therapy, you can keep your treatment well confined to the breast and spare the underlying heart and lung,” said radiation oncologist Tithi Biswas, MD, who treated the first left-sided breast patient with the proton beam. “While it is indicated for left-sided breast patients, I am willing to offer proton therapy to right-sided breast cancer patients who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s and we don’t want to cause long-term treatment-related toxicity”.

“We want to increase cure rates and lower side effects in cancer treatment.”

Proton therapy has the potential to reduce the risk for developing radiation-induced secondary cancers that may occur decades after treatment by reducing low radiation dose to the surrounding organs, which makes it particularly useful for children and younger adult patients.

“If you can minimize low radiation dose to non-targeted tissue, that’s a huge advantage,” said Dr. Biswas.

CJ Sheppard

Senior Communications Strategist, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 11:32 AM, 08.02.2017