According to a study published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the use of proton beam therapy (PLT) in the United States continues to grow. Researchers noted an increase in the use of proton beam therapy in the period from 2004 to 2018, especially in oncological diseases, the effectiveness of treatment with PLT is still being studied.
The authors of the article analyzed information from the National Database of Oncological Diseases on 5,919,368 patients who were diagnosed with cancer in the period from 2004 to 2018. To classify these patients into two groups, the researchers used the 2017 models of the American Society of Radiation Oncology.
Group 1 patients had health insurance that recommended treatment with the PLT method. They had eye tumors, head and neck cancer, cancer of the central nervous system, hepatocellular carcinoma, tumors of the skull and spine, as well as rhabdomyosarcoma.
Group 2 had insurance covering treatment with the PLT method only if certain requirements were met. These patients had cancers of the prostate, lung, breast, esophagus, pelvic organs (including colorectal, rectum, uterus, cervix and testicles), abdominal tumors (including stomach, pancreas and kidneys) and chest lymphomas. Group 2 patients received treatment after accumulating sufficient clinical evidence of the medical necessity of using this type of treatment.
In the general cohort, the use of PLT increased from 0.4% in 2004 to 1.2% in 2018 (annual percentage change [EPI], 8.12%; P <.001). In Group 1, the use of PLT increased from 0.4% in 2010 to 2.2% in 2018 (EPI, 21.97; P <.001). In Group 2, the use of PLT increased from 0.03% in 2014 to 0.1% in 2018 (EPI, 30.57; P <.001).
In group 1, the use of PLT showed the fastest growth in head and neck cancer (EPI, 52.0%). In group 2, the use of PLT increased for all cancers except prostate cancer. Most significantly from 2010 to 2018, the use of PLT for the treatment of breast cancer increased from 0.0% to 0.9% (EPI, 51.95%; P <.001), and PLT for the treatment of lung cancer - from 0.1% to 0.7% (EPI, 28.06%; P <.001). The use of PLT for the treatment of prostate cancer decreased from 1.4% in 2011 to 0.8% in 2014 (EPI, -16.48%; P = .03), but then recovered to 1.3% in 2018 (EPI, 12.45; P <.001).
"The results of this study indicate that the frequency of use of PLT varies depending on the group of indications, and that it is most often used for oncological diseases, the effectiveness of treatment with PLT is still being studied," the researchers concluded.
The original article can be read here
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