This special issue Vol 5, No 4 (August 2016) in the Chinese Clinical Oncology (CCO) journal focuses on the modern clinical use of proton therapy. Proton therapy represents a novel modality of particle radiotherapy with unique physical and dose distribution characteristics in comparison to photon radiotherapy. With the rising construction of proton therapy units, and over 200,000 patients estimated to have been treated worldwide as of 2016, there is an important need to evaluate and study proton therapy outcomes in comparison to photon radiotherapy to appreciate the value of this modality. The ultimate goal of this endeavor is the accrual and completion of prospective, comparative multi-institutional trials.
As an introduction to this ongoing and large-scale effort, we comprehensively review data presenting the efficacy and side effects with the use of proton therapy for the management of a multitude of malignancies. We emphasize the following disease sites: head and neck, base of skull, ocular malignancies, esophageal, breast carcinoma, prostate and pediatrics. Additionally, we highlight the economics of proton therapy with a focus on cost-effectiveness, providing a detailed cost-comparativeness analysis of proton versus photon therapy.
Overall, this issue is the result of generous and diligent work of many authors, editors, and staff. As such, we thank all our contributors for their impressive efforts in helping to bring this issue to fruition.
Figure left：Minesh Mehta，Department of Radiation Oncology, Miami Cancer Institute, Miami, FL, USA
Guest editor: Dr. Minesh Mehta (Figure left) - Minesh Mehta, M.B.Ch.B., received his medical degree from the University of Zambia in 1981 and proceeded to complete residency training in Radiation Oncology at the University of Wisconsin in 1988, following which he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Wisconsin's School of Medicine in the Department of Human Oncology. In 1997, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Department of Human Oncology, which he led for the subsequent 10 years. Additionally, he has successfully led the RTOG/NRG Brain Tumor Program for over 15 years, with continuous grant refunding. From 2010-12, Dr. Mehta was Professor of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University where he was also co-leader of the Lurie Cancer Center's Solid Tumor Investigational Program. Dr. Mehta served as the founding medical director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore from 2012-16, the area’s first proton treatment center. Currently, he leads Baptist Health South Florida as the Deputy Director of the Miami Cancer Institute, and Chief of Radiation Oncology, overseeing South Florida’s first Proton Therapy Center.
Dr. Mehta's clinical activities have revolved around thoracic and central nervous system tumors where he has gained international recognition and acclaim, based on his clinical and academic productivity, which includes several hundred manuscripts, abstracts, book chapters, and speaker invitations. He has developed robust clinical research programs with an eye toward generating level I practice-changing evidence. His research has also included several innovations in areas including radiosensitizers, radioprotectors, as well as radiation oncology technology, including intensity modulated, image-guided radiation therapy, and proton therapy. Dr. Mehta has had several leadership responsibilities, including Departmental Chairmanship, residency program directorship, medical school course directorship, leadership in several national organizations such as ABS, ASCO, ASTRO, CCG, FDA, ISRS, SNO, etc.
Figure right：Dr. Arpit Chhabra，Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Guest editor：Dr. Arpit Chhabra (Figure right) - Arpit Chhabra MD, is a Post-Graduate Year-5 Radiation Oncology Senior Resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He completed his medical school training at New York University School of Medicine, and initiated his radiation oncology training at State University of New York-Downstate. His academic interests include gaining an in-depth understanding of clinical proton radiotherapy, with current involvement in multiple proton therapy research projects.