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Particle therapy at ASTRO 2023: Insights from Dr. Joern Meissner

October 18, 2023
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy

Leo Cancer Care and P-Cure both assert that upright treatment offers benefits to patients, particularly for head and neck, lung, breast, chest, liver, pancreatic, abdominal, and prostate indications. These advantages include enhanced patient comfort and reduced organ motion during treatment. While the number of indications best treated upright versus supine remains debated, it ranges from 30% to 70%, depending on who you ask.

As we navigate the exhibition hall, it's evident that the future of proton therapy is dynamic and evolving. B-dot Medical Inc. introduces a compact gantry solution that rotates the beam around the patient through magnetic field deflection, eliminating the need for heavy moving parts. While this innovation promises to be the smallest gantry solution that can fit into a linac vault, it is not yet available for clinical use.

Could such advancements in size reduction and cost-efficiency be the key to expanding access to proton therapy? Time will tell, especially if these streamlined systems pave the way for future beam delivery modalities like FLASH or Arc therapy. However, it's essential to consider pediatric patients' needs, as treating an anesthetized patient in an upright position presents challenges.

Field size, field matching, and beam properties are also vital parameters to monitor. While the data from upright systems suggest efficacy for many indications, there remains a need for more complex systems that support supine position treatment with a rotating gantry.

Joern Meissner
In conclusion, the field of proton therapy is advancing, and various innovations hold the potential to enhance access and cost-effectiveness. The future may see proton therapy as an increasingly accessible and efficient cancer treatment option, with benefits for patients and healthcare providers alike.

About Meissner Consulting: Dr. Joern Meissner, a seasoned expert with over 25 years of experience in proton therapy, focuses on enabling performance and cost efficiency. With extensive project experience in the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia, he has managed proton therapy projects worldwide. Dr. Meissner is known for his contributions to radiation safety and has played a pivotal role in various medical facility projects involving particle accelerators. After completing his Ph.D. in nuclear physics, he began his career at IBA. In 2001 he founded Meissner Consulting and has been involved in the development and installation of proton therapy systems. His consultancy services extend to industrial and medical facilities, including radioisotope production for theranostics.

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