Proton therapy may be the best treatment option to consider for patients recently diagnosed with a gynecologic (GYN) cancer or with a reoccurrence of a previously treated GYN cancer. When gynecological cancers are detected early, proton therapy can help reduce the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissues like the kidneys and pelvic bone marrow. Proton therapy can conform to the shape and depth of a tumor while sparing healthy tissues and organs.
At the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center, we can treat GYN cancers such as cervical cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, and vaginal cancer. Some of the potential benefits of being treated by proton therapy radiation include: tumor control during treatment, the ability to deliver high dose radiation to target while sparing pelvic organs, and fewer side effects particularly to small bowel, large bowel, bladder, kidneys and pelvic bone marrow.
Proton therapy may especially be beneficial to women with:
- Endometrial and cervical cancer
- Prior radiation therapy
- Disease recurrence and when other options including surgery may or may not be available
- Adolescents and young adults — to help avoid long-term effects
- Localized recurrences of ovarian cancer
Why MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center
At our Proton Therapy Center, we are able to offer our GYN patients pencil beam scanning, the most advanced form of proton treatment. Pencil beam scanning delivers a single, narrow proton beam that is magnetically swept across the tumor, depositing radiation like a painter's brush, without the need to construct beam-shaping devices. The advantage lies in the beam's capacity to approach the tumor from multiple directions, creating a "U" shape around critical structures and minimizing the dose to them during treatment.
Our patients will have access to a multi-disciplinary team of radiation oncologists, dosimetrists, physicists and other cancer professionals, as well as being at a proton therapy facility located within a comprehensive cancer center.