Physics against cancer. Unleashing the potential of protons in the fight against cancer.
Proton therapy (RT) is an increasingly important weapon against cancer. By controlling proton energy, and thus proton range, the dose can be concentrated in tumour more effectively than with conventional radiotherapy with photons. As such, proton therapy is rapidly spreading around the world. However, much can still be done to improve the accessibility, precision, and therefore clinical effectiveness, of proton therapy. In this contribution, three areas where developments will, or are making significant advances will be discussed: Imaging, treatment planning and delivery. On-line imaging developments will both help to reduce delivery uncertainties as well as allow for dynamic, potentially real-time adaptions of patient treatments, whereas developments in treatment planning will further exploit the inherent flexibility of protons for radiotherapy, by improving both treatment accuracy and efficiency. Finally, advances in delivery technology will reduce facility size and costs, as well as reduce treatment times to move towards more cost efficient, but also patient friendly treatments.