Proton beam therapy benefits relatively few cancers, US guideline says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 06 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3786
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Although proton beam therapy is appropriate in situations where it is not possible to spare surrounding normal tissue using standard photon based radiotherapy, routine insurance coverage should be reserved for treating relatively rare malignancies such as ocular tumors and pediatric brain tumors, says a new policy document from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).1

In its “model policy” document the society detailed which diagnoses met ASTRO’s evidence based standards and when they should be covered by private and government insurance. In a statement Colleen Lawton, chairwoman of ASTRO’s board of directors, …

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