A Phase II Study of Proton Radiation Therapy versus Partial Photon Radiation Therapy to Treat Leptomeningeal Metastases in the Brain and Spine


Full Title

A Phase II Randomized Study Assessing the Efficacy of Proton Craniospinal Irradiation (CSI) vs Involved-field Photon Radiation Therapy for Leptomeningeal Metastases from Solid Tumor Malignancies


Standard radiation therapy for cancer is photon therapy, which uses x-rays to kill cancer cells. However, tissues beyond the area being treated can often be exposed to unwanted radiation. Proton therapy uses protons to target and kill cancer cells and the treatment beams do not travel as far as x-rays, so the risk of exposure to healthy tissues is reduced.

Researchers in this study are evaluating proton therapy to treat solid tumor metastases in the tissues lining the brain and spinal cord (“leptomeningeal metastases”). They want to learn if proton craniospinal radiation therapy (proton CSI) or partial photon radiation therapy is more effective for preventing leptomeningeal metastasis from worsening. Proton CSI targets the entire space containing the cerebrospinal fluid, brain, and spinal fluid. Partial photon radiation therapy treats only areas related to symptoms. The side effects of the two therapies will also be compared.


To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must have leptomeningeal metastases from a solid tumor and be eligible to receive radiation therapy.
  • Patients must be able to walk and do routine activities for more than half of their normal waking hours.
  • This study is open to patients of all ages.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact Dr. T. Jonathan Yang at 212-639-8157.






Yang, Jonathan, MD, PhD