Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Initial Clinical Experience

Ronik S. Bhangoo, Trey C. Mullikin, Jonathan B. Ashman, Tiffany W. Cheng, Michael A. Golafshar, Todd A. DeWees, Jedediah E. Johnson, Satomi Shiraishi, Wei Liu, Yanle Hu, Kenneth W. Merrell, Michael G. Haddock, Sunil Krishnan, William G. Rule, Terence T. Sio, Christopher L. Hallemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Our purpose was to assess the safety and efficacy of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods and Materials: A retrospective review was conducted on all patients who were treated with IMPT for HCC with curative intent from June 2015 to December 2018. All patients had fiducials placed before treatment. Inverse treatment planning used robust optimization with 2 to 3 beams. The majority of patients were treated in 15 fractions (n = 30, 81%, 52.5-67.5 Gy, relative biological effectiveness), whereas the remainder were treated in 5 fractions (n = 7, 19%, 37.5-50 Gy, relative biological effectiveness). Daily image guidance consisted of orthogonal kilovoltage x-rays and use of a 6° of freedom robotic couch. Outcomes (local control, progression free survival, and overall survival) were determined using Kaplan-Meier methods. Results: Thirty-seven patients were included. The median follow-up for living patients was 21 months (Q1-Q3, 17-30 months). Pretreatment Child-Pugh score was A5-6 in 70% of patients and B7-9 in 30% of patients. Nineteen patients had prior liver directed therapy for HCC before IMPT. Eight patients (22%) required a replan during treatment, most commonly due to inadequate clinical target volume coverage. One patient (3%) experienced a grade 3 acute toxicity (pain) with no recorded grade 4 or 5 toxicities. An increase in Child-Pugh score by ≥ 2 within 3 months of treatment was observed in 6 patients (16%). At 1 year, local control was 94%, intrahepatic control was 54%, progression free survival was 35%, and overall survival was 78%. Conclusions: IMPT is safe and feasible for treatment of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100675
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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