Randal H. Henderson, MD, MBA, discusses accessibility of proton therapy versus intensity-modulated radiation therapy in prostate cancer.
Randal H. Henderson, MD, MBA, professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, associate medical director, University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute, discusses accessibility of proton therapy versus intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in prostate cancer.
Compared with IMRT, proton therapy is not as widely available and more expensive. Many insurance companies will not pay for protons because they require more data to justify paying the extra cost, explains Henderson. A recently opened PCORI-funded trial at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute has potential to show that protons are as effective, if not better, in terms of controls rates and toxicity compared with IMRT, says Henderson.
If the results for IMRT and proton therapy are equitable, it could potentially help the cost issue facing proton therapy, which is tied to how long it takes to deliver the treatment, according to Henderson. Insurance companies could make proton therapy more widely available to their insured populations and expand access to protons across the United States, concludes Henderson.