The goal of this project is to perform non-randomized clinical studies, seeking to improve the therapeutic ratio of protons by exploiting the potential clinical advantage(s) of the reduced dose bath using optimized intensity modulated protons (IMPT), in clinical sites that we hypothesize will result in reduced non-target radiation dose and normal tissue toxicity. We judge these sites are not yet ready for randomized studies. Optimizing proton RT with scanned beams, delineating and controlling target position, finely determining end-of-range, and robust intensity modulation can improve target dose conformity, maximizing local tumor control. We seek to optimize IMPT using investigational biophysical tools. We will also explore modulation of the LET distribution with scanned protons for radiobiologic advantage in a phase I clinical study in CNS malignancies. This project supports the mission of the NCI to improve the treatment and continuing care of cancer patients.
This research aims to improve radiation treatment for cancer patients by improving our ability to direct the radiation at the tumor to spare adjacent normal tissue by using protons (charged particles) with intensity- modulated proton therapy. This can potentially improve cancer cure rates, reduce side effects, or both, depending on the clinical scenario. With an increasing number of proton centers in the United States and abroad the research in this program project is increasingly important for public health.