Proton Relative Biological Effectiveness - Uncertainties and Opportunities

Int J Part Ther. 2018 Summer;5(1):2-14. doi: 10.14338/IJPT-18-00011.1. Epub 2018 Sep 21.


Proton therapy treatments are prescribed using a biological effectiveness relative to photon therapy of 1.1, that is, proton beams are considered to be 10% more biologically effective. Debate is ongoing as to whether this practice needs to be revised. This short review summarizes current knowledge on relative biological effectiveness variations and uncertainties in vitro and in vivo. Clinical relevance is discussed and strategies toward biologically guided treatment planning are presented.

Keywords: proton dose response; proton therapy; relative biological effectiveness.