This year’s “Workshop on Hadron Therapy” was hosted by the Mesoamerican Center for Theoretical Physics (MCTP) and FIMENUTEP (Nuclear and Medical Physics Proton Therapy) in Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The three-day summit brought together experts from around the world to discuss the benefits and implementation of proton therapy in the treatment of cancer. Presenters included the Mayo Clinic, University Hospital of Geneva, John Hopkins School of Medicine and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP).
Mark Falkowski, CEO at Pyrexar Medical, was invited as the industry leader in thermal therapy medical devices to present the topic “Hyperthermia for Proton Therapy”. Interest in the combined therapy was piqued by a paper published in 2014 by N. Datta entitled, “Could hyperthermia with proton therapy mimic carbon ion therapy?” This research is important as it postulates that not only could adding hyperthermia to proton therapy increase the effectiveness, but also potentially mimic the superior results of carbon ion therapy without the magnitude higher systems cost.
Currently, there is a multi-institutional phase I/II clinical trial with concomitant local hyperthermia and proton beam radiotherapy at the Kantonsspital Aarau in Switzerland. Hyperthermia is a well-known sensitizer of cancer tumors, increasing tumor response and increasing effective dose in radiation therapy. Researchers have measured increases in tumor control and complete response in many cancers when adding hyperthermia to chemotherapy and traditional radiotherapy. The new study is designed to measure the effective downstaging of soft tissue sarcoma tumors when adding hyperthermia to proton therapy.
The Hadron Therapy Workshop provided another opportunity to share the hyperthermia message with medical experts, staff and university researchers focused on increasing the effectiveness of cancer treatments. Pyrexar Medical continues to ask the question, “If there is a pain-free, harm-free way to increase cancer survival rates, why not choose to use it?”