Proton Therapy for Head and Neck Cancers

Pierre Blanchard, Gary Brandon Gunn, Alexander Lin, Robert L. Foote, Nancy Y. Lee, Steven J. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Because of its sharp lateral penumbra and steep distal fall-off, proton therapy offers dosimetric advantages over photon therapy. In head and neck cancer, proton therapy has been used for decades in the treatment of skull-base tumors. In recent years the use of proton therapy has been extended to numerous other disease sites, including nasopharynx, oropharynx, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, periorbital tumors, skin, and salivary gland, or to reirradiation. The aim of this review is to present the physical properties and dosimetric benefit of proton therapy over advanced photon therapy; to summarize the clinical benefit described for each disease site; and to discuss issues of patient selection and cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Radiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Intensity-modulated proton therapy
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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