THE PROGRAM FOR PARTICAL THERAPY proposes utilization of hospital-based particle generators in a nationwide program to evaluate, through meaningful clinical trials, particle radiation therapy and the impact its utilization can have in cancer care. The scientific rationale for use of particle therapy compared to conventional radiation in the effort to achieve uncomplicated local control of cancer, to heal, cure and palliate the patient, indicates the advantages of particle therapy consist of either or both a) enhanced biological effect and b) physical properties leading to improvement in dose distribution.
It has been estimated that in the U.S., approximately 100,000 deaths occur annually due to failure of all means of therapy to control local-regional cancer. Any new modality enabling the therapist to increase dose to tumor, while sparing critical normal tissue, can enhance local control and benefit systemic therapy. Limited clinical trials to date warrant further definitive clinical study of particle beams. Physical and biologic considerations of fast-neutron beams have been essentially completed; equipment design, availability, and predicted reliability are good; and the medical community has indicated support of further study.
A major clinical investigation can be implemented to provide the scientific basis for judging clinical merit of use of high LET radiation. Concurrently, the first phase of work can be started with protons, negative pions, and heavy ions.
It is anticipated that clinical results will accrue much more rapidly with hospital-based units for clinical trials; this Program proposes this transfer of particle technology from the laboratory to such hospital-based facilities in two phases, over a 10-year period.