Past, present and future of proton therapy for head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Li X, et al. Oral Oncol 2020 - Review.


Proton therapy has recently gained substantial momentum worldwide due to improved accessibility to the technology and sustained interests in its advantage of better tissue sparing compared to traditional photon radiation. Proton therapy in head and neck cancer has a unique advantage given the complex anatomy and proximity of targets to vital organs. As head and neck cancer patients are living longer due to epidemiological shifts and advances in treatment options, long-term toxicity from

radiation treatment has become a major concern that may be better mitigated by proton therapy. With increased utilization of proton therapy, new proton centers breaking ground, and as excitement about the technology continue to increase, we aim to comprehensively review the evidence of proton therapy in major subsites within the head and neck, hoping to facilitate a greater understanding of the full risks and benefits of proton therapy for head and neck cancer.