proton therapy

How Can You Benefit From Clinical Trials?

petri dishAt Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, we’re dedicated to advancing cancer care through groundbreaking research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating different types of cancer. Winship offers clinical trials for virtually every type of cancer at multiple locations in the Atlanta area, including the Emory Proton Therapy Center.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial gives researchers information about preventing, diagnosing and treating a condition with drugs, procedures, and other options. Patients who participate in clinical trials help create medical advances in:

  • Drug therapy
  • Proton therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgical procedures

Participation in clinical trials is voluntary. Patients enrolled in clinical trials often receive extra care coordination and attention from the clinical trials staff. When patients take part in a clinical trial, they help researchers find better treatments for others in the future, just as today’s patients benefit from the advancements in treatment that were made in past clinical trials.

What Do the Phases of Clinical Trials Mean?

Clinical trials happen in four phases necessary for FDA approval of a new treatment option. Those who enroll in a clinical trial will participate in one of these phases.

Phase I

Phase I clinical trials test new drugs, new combinations of two or more drugs, and devices or procedures. Researchers will determine how safe they are and look into the most effective doses. Side effects will also be tracked.

Phase II

Phase II clinical trials further evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a drug, device, or procedure. Researchers keep track of any medical benefits, as well as side effects.

Phase III

Phase III trials compare a new treatment or procedure with an existing, standard treatment or procedure to determine which works best. Evaluation of side effects and effectiveness continues.

Phase IV

Once a drug or procedure is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and made available to the public, researchers continue to study its safety to figure out the best use of the new treatment.

What Clinical Trials Are Available at the Emory Proton Therapy Center?

Talk with your doctor about whether you’re eligible to enroll in a proton therapy clinical trial. All patients are being asked to join a national proton therapy registry. The registry helps track patients long after their treatment ends to better understand the success rate and side effects of treatment. Participation in the proton therapy registry study allows physicians to maintain periodic long-term contact after treatment ends for patients who choose to participate, even if the patient is unable to return in person.

Proton therapy centers across the country share information gathered through the proton therapy registries in an effort to help clinical teams make better decisions about the type of treatments used for future patients.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Seeing over 17,000 patients a year, Winship at Emory is Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and serves as the coordinating center for cancer research, education, and care throughout Emory University.

Emory Proton Therapy Center

The experienced physicians and specialists at the Emory Proton Therapy Center will work closely with you to develop the most effective treatment plan with the fewest potential side effects. If you want to learn more about proton therapy and the Emory Proton Therapy Center, visit winshipcancer.emory.edu/proton.

Patients, caregivers, and physicians with patients needing treatment can schedule a consultation with an Emory Proton Therapy Center professional by calling 1-833-3PROTON (1-833-377-6866) or visiting winshipcancer.emory.edu/proton to complete a form.

Is Proton Therapy Right for Your Child?

Proton therapy treats pediatric cancer with potential fewer side effectsProton therapy improves the care and outcomes for children with cancer by avoiding radiation exposure to healthy and normal tissues, reducing many short- and long-term side effects of cancer treatment.

The advanced technology at the Emory Proton Therapy Center offers powerful and precise targeting to destroy cancer cells and reduce the likelihood of stunted growth, secondary tumors, and other potential side effects that can occur with standard radiation therapy. Learn how this exciting technology can benefit your child.

Seven Ways Proton Therapy Can Reduce Your Child’s Risks of Side-Effects

Proton beam therapy is especially effective for pediatric patients. With photon (X-Ray) radiation therapy, a child’s developing body is exposed to unnecessary radiation in areas that surround the tumor.

Proton therapy can reduce the risk of:

  • Developmental delays
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal problems
  • Lung disease
  • Secondary tumors
  • Stunted growth

What Types of Cancer Can Be Treated with Proton Therapy?

Many types of cancer are effectively treated with proton therapy for children, including:

  • Brain tumors
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Sarcomas

Because proton beam therapy is so precise, it’s important for our littlest patients at the center to be still during treatment. Our pediatric radiation oncologist and child-life specialist will work with your child to prepare her or him for the treatment. This process will help reduce stress and uncertainty about what’s involved with proton therapy. If needed, sedation or anesthesia services are available.

Comprehensive, Compassionate Care at the Emory Proton Therapy Center

The Emory Proton Therapy Center’s pediatric radiation oncologists work closely with your child’s oncologist and other physicians. Your child’s care plan is discussed in multidisciplinary tumor boards to make sure we provide the most comprehensive care.

If you live far from our treatment center, and your child also requires chemotherapy or other treatment during proton therapy, you may be referred to a pediatric medical oncologist to care for your child while in Atlanta. To learn more about proton therapy and the Emory Proton Therapy Center, visit winshipcancer.emory.edu/proton.

Parents of pediatric patients, caregivers, and physicians with pediatric patients needing treatment can schedule a consultation with an Emory Proton Therapy Center professional by calling 1-833-3PROTON (1-833-377-6866) or visiting winshipcancer.emory.edu/proton to complete a form.

Three Benefits of Proton Therapy for Specific Tumors and Cancers

proton therapy patient and nurseThe Emory Proton Therapy Center is the only proton therapy center in Georgia and one of 30 in the nation, putting the most advanced radiation tools in the hands of our highly specialized and experienced Winship clinical teams. Proton therapy, a type of radiation treatment delivering radiation with proton particles rather than X-rays (photons), provides many benefits.

  • Proton therapy delivers radiation directly to the tumor, decreasing the amount of radiation to healthy and normal tissues. This reduces risks of short-term and long-term side effects with a goal of improved quality of life.
  • With potentially fewer side effects, proton therapy may be delivered at higher curative doses to particular cancers or tumors.
  • Pediatric patients receiving proton therapy may experience significantly reduced risks of secondary tumors developing, and lowered risks of heart or lung disease, hormone problems, hearing loss, and other side effects.

Which Cancers Are Treated with Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy can be useful in treating many different types of cancer, including:

  • Abdominal cancer, including liver cancer and pancreatic cancer
  • Bone tumors
  • Brain and spine tumors
  • Breast cancer, especially left-sided breast cancer and lymph nodes near the heart
  • Head and neck cancers, including cancers on the tongue, tonsil, sinus cavity, and larynx
  • Lymphoma
  • Pediatric (childhood) cancer
  • Pelvic cancer, especially rectal cancer and anal cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thoracic cancers, including esophageal and lung cancers
  • Sarcomas

Emory Proton Therapy Center

The experienced physicians and specialists at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and the Emory Proton Therapy Center will work closely with you to develop the most effective treatment plan with the fewest potential side effects. If you want to learn more about proton therapy and the Emory Proton Therapy Center, visit winshipcancer.emory.edu/proton.

Cancer patients, caregivers, or physicians with a patient needing consultation can schedule by calling 1-833-3PROTON (1-833-377-6866) where an Emory Proton Therapy Center professional will promptly respond to your phone call.