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HomeMedical Information For Tata AIA Life CustomersMedical Information Cutting Edge Proton Beam Therapy on its way to Hong Kong

Cutting Edge Proton Beam Therapy on its way to Hong Kong

By: Medix team

Proton Beam Therapy has some advantages over existing treatment options; however knowing when and for whom these advantages apply is just as important as its arrival in HK

One of the most advanced treatment technologies in the field of cancer care today is proton beam radiotherapy. This radiation treatment option is precise, with relatively few adverse events and for specific conditions high success rates. However, due to its experimental nature and very high cost there are only a few centers worldwide that possess this technology and offer this treatment, most of them in the U.S.


How does it work?

Similarly to other advanced radiotherapy technologies, the radiation causes damage to the cancerous cell, which in turn unfortunately destroys other cells and tissue in the surrounding area.


The main differentiator between Proton Beam to other radiotherapy technologies is the ability to propel the protons at different speeds depending on the depth of the cancerous cells within the part of the body. The technology allows a high level of control in this regard; as a result, the protons hit the cancerous cells but do not continue past the target cells and out of the body.

This feature reduces the amount of tissue affected by the treatment and keeps healthy tissue from being damaged by the therapy.


Not everyone is a candidate for Proton Beam Radiation!

For the vast majority of cancer types PBT is not the right treatment and has no clinical benefit over alternative radiotherapy technologies and solutions.

The Proton beam’s precision is not a clinically necessary when the tumor is not surrounded by sensitive tissues such as certain brain tissue, eyes or spine. Therefore, PBT has no clinical superiority over other radiotherapies when tumors are not located in these sensitive parts of the body.


PBT is also used for a small set of cancers in pediatric cases. Since the tissue surrounding pediatric tumors are not entirely developed, they are more delicate and prone to be adversely affected by radiation.


PTB in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital is planning on building a new radiotherapy out-patient clinic which will include Proton Beam Therapy with the machine expected to be operational in HK within a few years. It will certainly add an important treatment option for certain cancer patients in HK but patients should not rush for such treatment before obtaining independent quality oncology advice from experienced specialists as this treatment is only relevant and effective in very specific and rare cancers. In most cases, besides being very expensive, it does not have any added medical value. However, for those specific rare cancer cases, this treatment will make a real difference.


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