The goal of this project is to assess and improve our understanding of the magnitude and clinical impact of (a) assumptions and approximations of current proton therapy regarding the physical interactions of protons with patient anatomy and treatment devices, (b) the markedly different dose distribution patterns of protons and photons, and (c) the assumption of the variability of the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of protons compared to the current practice of using a constant RBE of 1.1. This goal will be accomplished partly through the analyses of clinical data (local control, toxicities and imaged response) from the P01 clinical trials and partly through computer simulations and through in-vivo experiments. Achieving this goal is of high significance in that the knowledge gained about the factors affecting treatment response (e.g., inter- and intra-fractional anatomic variations, approximations in predicting physical dose, RBE variability, etc.) would be critical for making reliable treatment decisions about the appropriateness of proton therapy, for correctly evaluating the clinical effectiveness of planned proton dose distributions, and for developing advanced methods to design optimum and robust IMPT to exploit the full potential of proton therapy. This project supports the mission of the NCI to improve the treatment and continuing care of cancer patients.

Public Health Relevance

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.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
Project #
2U19CA021239-35
Application #
8716848
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-C (J1))
Project Start
1997-04-01
Project End
2019-08-31
Budget Start
2014-09-25
Budget End
2015-08-31
Support Year
35
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$404,324
Indirect Cost
$84,194
Name
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department
Type
DUNS #
073130411
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02199
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