Proton and heavy particle intracranial radiosurgery

Eric J. Lehrer, Arpan V. Prabhu, Kunal K. Sindhu, Stanislav Lazarev, Henry Ruiz-Garcia, Jennifer L. Peterson, Chris Beltran, Keith Furutani, David Schlesinger, Jason P. Sheehan, Daniel M. Trifiletti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) involves the delivery of a highly conformal ablative dose of radiation to both benign and malignant targets. This has traditionally been accomplished in a single fraction; however, fractionated approaches involving five or fewer treatments have been delivered for larger lesions, as well as lesions in close proximity to radiosensitive structures. The clinical utilization of SRS has overwhelmingly involved photon-based sources via dedicated radiosurgery platforms (e.g., Gamma Knife® and Cyberknife® ) or specialized linear accelerators. While photonbased methods have been shown to be highly effective, advancements are sought for improved dose precision, treatment duration, and radiobiologic effect, among others, particularly in the setting of repeat irradiation. Particle-based techniques (e.g., protons and carbon ions) may improve many of these shortcomings. Specifically, the presence of a Bragg Peak with particle therapy at target depth allows for marked minimization of distal dose delivery, thus mitigating the risk of toxicity to organs at risk. Carbon ions also exhibit a higher linear energy transfer than photons and protons, allowing for greater relative biological effectiveness. While the data are limited, utilization of proton radiosurgery in the setting of brain metastases has been shown to demonstrate 1-year local control rates >90%, which are comparable to that of photon-based radiosurgery. Prospective studies are needed to further validate the safety and efficacy of this treatment modality. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of clinical evidence in the use of particle therapy-based radiosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Ablative
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Carbon
  • Particle
  • Proton
  • Radiation oncology
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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