Improving Outcomes for Esophageal Cancer using Proton Beam Therapy

Michael D. Chuong, Christopher L. Hallemeier, Salma K. Jabbour, Jen Yu, Shahed Badiyan, Kenneth W. Merrell, Mark V. Mishra, Heng Li, Vivek Verma, Steven H. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Radiation therapy (RT) plays an essential role in the management of esophageal cancer. Because the esophagus is a centrally located thoracic structure there is a need to balance the delivery of appropriately high dose to the target while minimizing dose to nearby critical structures. Radiation dose received by these critical structures, especially the heart and lungs, may lead to clinically significant toxicities, including pneumonitis, pericarditis, and myocardial infarction. Although technological advancements in photon RT delivery like intensity modulated RT have decreased the risk of such toxicities, a growing body of evidence indicates that further risk reductions are achieved with proton beam therapy (PBT). Herein we review the published dosimetric and clinical PBT literature for esophageal cancer, including motion management considerations, the potential for reirradiation, radiation dose escalation, and ongoing esophageal PBT clinical trials. We also consider the potential cost-effectiveness of PBT relative to photon RT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-497
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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