Proton beam therapy for localized prostate cancer 101: basics, controversies, and facts

Rev Urol. 2014;16(2):67-75.


Proton beam therapy for prostate cancer has become a source of controversy in the urologic community, and the rapid dissemination and marketing of this technology has led to many patients inquiring about this therapy. Yet the complexity of the technology, the cost, and the conflicting messages in the literature have left many urologists ill equipped to counsel their patients regarding this option. This article reviews the basic science of the proton beam, examines the reasons for both the hype and the controversy surrounding this therapy, and, most importantly, examines the literature so that every urologist is able to comfortably discuss this option with inquiring patients.

Keywords: External beam radiation therapy; Intensity modulated radiation therapy; Prostate cancer; Proton beam therapy.