In the past there was virtually no effective treatment option for pancreas, liver and oesophagus cancer. Despite all the methods currently available cure rates were low, and only slowed disease progression. In over half of patients who receive post-operative chemotherapy, the cancer returns. With conventional radiotherapy there is always damage to surrounding organs – like the adjacent small intestine, liver and kidney, and therefore conventional radiotherapy is indicated less and less.

Please be aware that :

The characteristics of proton radiation are a three-dimensional dose distribution with the highest level of precision and conformity to the tumour. This means less normal tissue is irradiated, causing less toxicity and higher doses to the tumour, thereby increasing the possibility of a cure. It is far more appropriate to use proton therapy for the treatment of tumours close to or in vital structures, including tumours of the gastrointestinal tract, such as cancer of the pancreas, liver or oesophagus.

Preoperative irradiation of pancreatic cancer can enable surgery to be performed, or improves the results of surgery itself. Separate irradiation achieves tumour suppression, life extension and relief from troubles. Proton therapy offers new possibilities by preserving sensitive healthy tissues around the pancreas like the small bowel, liver, kidney and spinal cord. Proton therapy has only minimal side effects
with better final outcomes.

Tumours of the oesophagus need surgical removal post-treatment. Sometimes an operation cannot be performed and irradiation is applied seperately, as with locally advanced tumours. With conventional radiotherapy it is impossible to apply a high enough dose to destroy the tumour without causing serious side effects like vomiting, weight loss, pain and decreased food intake.

Liver tumours or metastases in the liver need high doses of radiation to be destroyed, and healthy liver tissue cannot tolerate this. Thus only a low radiation dose can be applied, and this dose is insufficient to completely destroy the tumour. Alternatively, a proton beam can preserve healthy tissue and destroy the tumour with high dosages.

Anal carcinoma - invasive spinocellular carcinoma or invasive spinocellular carcinoma after excessive biopsy (not radical).

The pancreas and kidneys - essential organs for life...

Irradiation of pancreas by conventional radiation and proton therapy 

Proton radiation precisely targets the tumour and other tissues that may need treatment
(such as lymph nodes in the mediastinum) while surrounding healthy tissue receives only 20-30% of radiation. When treating pancreatic cancer for example, protons reduce the dose to the spinal cord by about 78%, the liver by about 55% and the kidneys down to 23%.

Unlike conventional radiotherapy, proton therapy for pancreatic cancer:

  • Reduces radiation exposure to the spinal cord by 78%
  • Reduces radiation exposure to the liver by 55%
  • Reduces unnecessary radiation exposure to the kidney by 23%


Tumours of the pancreas

  • Preoperative radiotherapy for locally advanced operable tumours
  • Primary radiotherapy, or in combination with chemotherapy, for locally advanced inoperable tumours
  • Postoperative radiotherapy after complete or partial resection of the pancreas

Oesophageal tumours

  • Preoperative radiotherapy for locally advanced operable tumours
  • Primary radiotherapy, or in combination with chemotherapy, for locally advanced inoperable tumours

Hepatocellular (liver) carcinoma

  • Liver tumours unsuitable for surgery without extrahepatic involvement

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