Full TitleA Phase II Randomized Study of Proton versus Photon Beam Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Unilateral Head and Neck Cancer
Conventional radiation therapy is called photon therapy and uses x-ray beams to treat cancer. Proton therapy differs from photon therapy because the proton particles can stop shortly after passing through a tumor, and may therefore cause less damage to nearby healthy tissues. Both types of radiation therapy are used to treat head and neck cancers, and both are known to cause side effects such as fatigue, dry mouth, and skin irritation.
It is not known if one type of treatment causes more side effects than the other, and they have not been compared with each other. That is the purpose of this study. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive proton beam therapy or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT, a form of photon therapy) for six to seven weeks and will complete questionnaires about their quality of life.
To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:
- Patients must have salivary gland cancer, skin cancer, or melanoma on one side and be candidates for radiation therapy.
- Patients may not have had prior radiation therapy to the head and neck region and may not be receiving chemotherapy.
- This study is for patients age 18 and older.