Treating thoracic cancers with proton therapy
Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common cancer among men in both incidence and mortality, and among women has the third highest incidence and the second in mortality. In the United States, lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer mortality both in men and women. Lung cancer is categorized as small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with close to 80% of patients presenting with NSCLC.
Approximately 15-20% of NSCLC are surgically resectable, 1 and about 75% of patients present with locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis.2 For patients with locally advanced disease, and some patients with early stage disease that are unable to tolerate surgery, the current standard therapy is radiation therapy +/- chemotherapy.3 Other cancers of the thorax, such as thymoma and mesothelioma, are also routinely treated with radiation therapy in some scenarios.