RENO, Nev. and TAHOE, Nev., Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Progress and next steps to develop lower-cost proton cancer therapy was the topic of discussion at an international initiative meeting on Friday, September 20th, 2013.
Moataz Karmalawy, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager Worldwide Particle Therapy for Varian Medical Systems (http://www.varian.com/us/oncology/treatments/treatment_techniques/proton_therapy/) shared that proton therapy, in addition to its current treatment role world-wide, will likely play an even bigger role in the future of cancer therapy due to the benefit of increased accuracy and reduced side effects.
About Proton Therapy:
Proton therapy provides advantage over traditional radiation therapy in that it deposits most of its energy at the location of a tumor. In addition to many other treatments, proton therapy shows promise for lung and liver cancers, head and neck cancers and for the treatment of children. There are still only a limited number of facilities worldwide that can perform proton therapy because of the large and specialized building requirements and overall system cost. The laser-based proton source concept may be suited for improved proton therapy both in regard to improving access through reduced system size and cost as well as through added system capability.
About the Clinical Laser-Proton Therapy Working Group:
The group (http://www.laserprotontherapy.com/aboutus.html) was founded in 2011 and is dedicated to the coordination and application of government funding, private investment, and corporate investment to evaluate viability, design a path, and develop clinical laser-based proton sources for tumor therapy. Discussions are currently underway with potential corporate development and private investment partners. Additional partners in the cancer research foundation and philanthropic spaces are also being sought in order to accelerate this investigation.
The group has collectively invested more than one million dollars into accelerating the assessment of this technology pathway. Some of the group members participated in obtaining a promising initial result in 2009 with the generation of 67.5 MeV laser-based protons from structured laser targets. (http://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=14425)
Attendees or participants from the July, 2011 and September, 2013 group meetings include representation from Fox Chase Cancer Center, SCHOTT North America, Inc., National Energetics, University of Texas, Nanolabz, University of Nevada, Reno, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kirk-Brown Consulting, Central Laser Facility, Varian Medical Systems, Logos Technologies, Imprimis Consulting, SpecTIR, LLC, and the University of Glasgow.