The standard of care for the management of locally advanced esophageal cancers in the United States is chemotherapy combined with radiation, either definitively, or for those who could tolerate surgery, preoperatively before esophagectomy. Although the appropriate radiation dose remains somewhat controversial, the quality of the radiation delivery is critical for the treatment of esophageal cancer since the esophagus is positioned close to vital structures, such as the heart and lung. The volume and relative doses to these normal tissues affect acute and late term complications. Advances in radiation delivery from 2D to 3D conformal radiation therapy, to Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) or charged particle therapy (carbon ion or proton beam therapy (PBT)), allow incremental improvements in the therapeutic ratio. This could have implications in non-cancer related morbidity for long term survivors. This article reviews the evolution in radiation technologies and the use of PBT with chemotherapy in the management of esophageal cancer.
Lin, S. H. (2011, December). The utility of proton beam therapy with concurrent chemotherapy for the treatment of esophageal cancers. Cancers. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers3044090