Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proton beam therapy model policy issued

Date:
June 4, 2014
Source:
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
Summary:
A new Model Policy for proton beam therapy (PBT) that details which cancer diagnoses meet evidence-based standards and should be covered by private insurers and Medicare has been released for use. PBT is neither a new nor an experimental technology for treating cancer with radiation. It utilizes proton radiation particles to deliver highly conformal radiation therapy to a specific tumor target area while giving a much lower dose to the normal tissues in the proton beam's path of entry and exit.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued a new Model Policy for proton beam therapy (PBT) that details which cancer diagnoses meet ASTRO's evidence-based standards and should be covered by private insurers and Medicare. Developed by leading radiation oncologists and medical physicists, including significant input from expert representatives in proton therapy, this Model Policy supports PBT coverage for appropriate patients and identifies areas where coverage with evidence development and further research are needed.

Related Articles


PBT is neither a new nor an experimental technology for treating cancer with radiation. It utilizes proton radiation particles to deliver highly conformal radiation therapy to a specific tumor target area while giving a much lower dose to the normal tissues in the proton beam's path of entry and exit. PBT's reduced radiation dose to healthy tissues is attractive because it can reduce side effects for patients, which potentially increases their quality of life. To date, scientific evidence exists confirming that PBT is particularly useful in a number of pediatric cancers, particularly those in the brain, as well as for certain adult cancers such as ocular melanoma. Additional research on other cancer disease sites, such as breast, prostate and lung, is ongoing with NCI-supported clinical trials currently accruing patients in all three disease sites at the more than 14 proton therapy treatment centers around the country. PBT has attracted significant attention due to its relative cost, which can be dramatically more than traditional external beam radiation therapy due to the significant expense of building and maintaining proton therapy centers.

"Proton beam therapy (PBT) is demonstrating promise in our continuing efforts to improve survival and cure rates for cancer patients while reducing side effects," said Colleen A.F. Lawton, MD, FASTRO, chair of ASTRO's Board of Directors. "As the leading experts in radiation oncology, it is important for ASTRO to provide balanced, evidence-based guidance to payers that ensures access to PBT for cancer patients while being judicious stewards of our nation's and our patients' financial resources."

This Model Policy recommends two coverage groups for PBT: 1) patients with specific diagnoses for which PBT has been proven to be effective; and 2) patients with cancer diagnoses where evidence of effectiveness of PBT is still emerging, and therefore coverage with evidence development is recommended for patients if they are enrolled in clinical trials or a multi-institutional registry to collect data and inform consensus on the role of proton therapy. This Model Policy is consistent with ASTRO's previous statement on the use of PBT for prostate cancer, as well as ASTRO's Choosing Wisely list issued last September. In addition, ASTRO urges private insurers and Medicare to cover PBT for cancer patients with difficult-to-treat, rare or highly complex cases for which the characteristics of PBT offers advantages over other forms of treatment.

ASTRO Model Policies are developed to communicate what ASTRO believes are correct coverage policies for radiation oncology. The ASTRO Model Policies do not serve as clinical guidelines, and they are subject to periodic review and revision. The ASTRO Model Policies may be reproduced and distributed, without modification, for noncommercial purposes. ASTRO has previously issued Model Policies on coverage for brachytherapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and they are available online at www.astro.org/ModelPolicies.

The PBT Model Policy was approved by ASTRO's Board of Directors on May 20, 2014, and is available online at www.astro.org/protonmp.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). "Proton beam therapy model policy issued." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604092709.htm>.
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). (2014, June 4). Proton beam therapy model policy issued. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604092709.htm
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). "Proton beam therapy model policy issued." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604092709.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins