Use of a high-tech radiation cancer treatment called proton beam therapy (PBT) has increased overall in the United States, but Black patients are getting it less often than white patients, two new studies show.
Traditional radiation treatment is photon-based, but PBT uses protons to deliver high-energy beams more precisely to tumors and reduce damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
PBT can be better than traditional radiation therapy for tumors with complex anatomy, tumors surrounded by sensitive tissues and childhood cancers, but PBT can be twice as expensive, according to the American Cancer Society.
- See “Black Patients Less Likely to Get High-Tech Prostate Cancer Therapy” by Robert Preidt on the HealthDay website (May 2, 2022)
- See the full text of the scientific paper “Association of Race With Receipt of Proton Beam Therapy for Patients With Newly Diagnosed Cancer in the US, 2004-2018” by Leticia M. Nogueira et al.