Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The role of proton therapy in gynecological radiation oncology
  1. Neil Taunk
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neil Taunk, Department of Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; taunk{at}


Proton beam therapy is an external beam radiotherapy modality that offers potentially similar efficacy and reduced toxicity compared with photon radiotherapy due to little to no exit dose of radiation beyond the intended target. Improvements in radiotherapy from two-dimensional, to three-dimensional, to intensity-modulated radiation therapy have offered comparable to improved efficacy of radiation therapy with progressive reductions in toxicity. Proton beam therapy may offer further improvements, with multiple dosimetric studies demonstrating potential reductions in exposure of normal tissue to radiation, particularly bowel and bone marrow. Proton beam therapy offers avenues for dose escalation or re-irradiation, which were previously not feasible with photon radiotherapy. Although early clinical data generally demonstrate safety, feasibility, and efficacy in a few series, prospective clinical trials are limited and needed to better define who might benefit from proton therapy. In this review, we discuss the history, dosimetry, available clinical data, and technical needs to deliver high-quality proton therapy.

  • radiation oncology
  • radiotherapy
  • image-guided
  • radiotherapy
  • intensity-modulated
  • radiotherapy
  • conformal
  • uterine cancer

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors NT is responsible for the writing of this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests NT has speaking fees, honoraria, and consulting for Varian Medical Systems, RefleXion, and Boston Scientific.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.