Light Ions Therapy, also known as particle therapy, proton therapy and heavy ion therapy (carbon ion therapy or Hadron therapy) are accelerated atom nuclei directed at a tumor for radiation therapy. Particle accelerators generate the ion beams which travel at approximately 2/3 the speed of light. It is the most precise form of radiation treatment available. Light ions therapy allows very selective radiation directed only at the tumor site, leaving surrounding healthy tissue and organs intact and unharmed.
It is non-invasive and painless, with minimal side effects. Light ions therapy allows patients to maintain quality of life during the treatment process. Treatments are typically administrated on an out-patient basis. Several of the leading hospitals and clinics that are offering this treatment can be found in our Links section.
Light ions therapy is sometimes used in conjunction with other cancer treatment modalities, such as surgery or chemo therapy or conventional radiation therapy with photons (X-Rays).
Proton Therapy is the radiation therapy of choice for pediatric cancers.
How does light ions therapy differ from traditional radiation?
Very precise targeting unique to charged particles
No dose beyond the target.
Less scattered radiation in normal tissue.
Fewer acute and chronic side effects
Increased dosage possible. (Dose escalation)
Reduced normal tissue damage
Decreased risk of radiation-induced tumors later in life (Especially important in pediatric oncology)
What types of cancers & conditions are treatable with light ions therapy?
Bone and soft tissue
Head and neck
Central nervous system tumors
Abdominal lymph node
Metastases and other
Patients with sacral chordoma who refused surgery (typically amputation of a leg and part of the pelvis) have been treated at NIRS in Japan with good results. Having both legs intact allow a normal lifestyle.