Re-irradiation with protons.

Reirradiation is best performed by specialists with experience in treating patients when tumors reoccur. Such specialists can be found throughout the country. Many practice at high volume private practice centers, academic medical centers, designated cancer institutes, or proton therapy centers. Notably, proton therapy is one special form of radiation that has been shown in many studies to be useful in the reirradiation setting. Specifically, proton therapy can reduce dose to surrounding tissues and be more precise in tumor targeting when a part of the body has been exposed to radiation before, decreasing the chance of long-term toxicity with a second round of radiation. However, experienced physicians evaluate patients on a case by case basis to determine the best type of radiation to use for their individual situation. This also includes photon (x-ray) treatment. A map of specialized proton centers with and without their affiliated academic intuitions is offered below. This list can act as a starting point for patients who are trying to determine which local center may be a good option to consider for discussing possible re-irradiation. Ideally, any patient who is being considered for reirradiation will be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting with surgeons, medical oncologists, and interventional radiologists to determine the best overall approach for treating a tumor that’s come back.