For Patients

Is Proton Therapy Right for Me?

Cancers/Tumors We Treat

Clinical Indications for Proton Therapy

If you are considering proton therapy at Aizawa Proton Therapy Center as your treatment option, you can check by your own or with your doctor if you can be a candidate for proton therapy in our center with the following preconditions . We recommend you to discuss with your doctor regarding the preconditions.

1. General Conditions

  • A patient in a fair general medical condition.
  • A patient can communicate with hospital staffs and follow their instructions.
  • A patient can fully understand expected outcomes and possible adverse reactions, and is able to express his/her consent by signing an Informed Consent Form.
  • A patient can keep a treatment position on the treatment table for 60 minutes without moving.
  • A metal marker can be placed in the body prior to treatment in some cases /organs.
  • A patient has not received radiation therapy to the treatment site and around it in the past.
  • An artifact, such as a metal object, is not implanted at the treatment site and around it except for a micro metal object which will not affect treatment or a metal marker placed for treatment.
  • A patient has no electronic device, such as a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
  • A patient doesn't have any active double cancer as a complication (simultaneous double cancer and hetero chronic double cancer with disease-free period no longer than 24 months).
  • A patient has no serious complications in the following organs; bone marrow, lungs, heart, liver, kidney, etc.
  • A patient is not diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma or interstitial pneumonia as a complication.
  • A patient has no uncontrolled diabetes.
  • A patient has no significant infection at the treatment site and around it.
  • A patient is able to receive the proton therapy on outpatient basis.
  • A patient is able to receive follow-up care at a referred medical facility or other facilities (Able to visit the facility periodically after the proton therapy treatment is completed).

2. Cancer Conditions

  • Diagnosis of cancer is confirmed pathologically. However, in some cancers, clinical diagnosis could be made with imaging tests, tumor marker level, and course of a disease.
  • Images, such as contrast CT, contrast MRI, and, FDG-PET/bone scintigraphy, taken within 42 days prior to the referral date show the cancer remain localized and no or minor infiltration into surrounding tissues.
      * UICC (Unio Internationals Contra Cancrum) Ver. 7
        > T1-T2, T3/T4 (Partial)
        > N0, N1/N2 (Partial)
        > Only M0
  • Combination with necessary adjuvant therapy, such as hormonal therapy or chemotherapy, can be used.

3. Conditions for Prostate Cancer Treatment

  • An antecedent treatment, except for hormonal therapy (chemotherapy), has not been undergone before proton therapy.
  • Cancer confined to prostate with no lymph node metastasis.
      ☆UICC Ver.7:
        > T1-T3aN0M0,
        > T3b/T4N0 without intense infiltration
  • Patients categorized as intermediate or higher risk by NCCN Risk Group can be treated with combination with hormonal therapy.
  • Able to control urination for a specified period of time (about 60 minutes).

Determination Process of Acceptance

Proton therapy can be an excellent treatment option for many types of cancer and some non-cancerous conditions. However, it is not the right choice for everyone. Our treatment team will review your condition to determine if you are a candidate for proton therapy based on your clinical information.

What to Expect

Treatment preparation process for precisely irradiating a tumor before treatment begins

In proton therapy, diagnosis is made first, and treatment plan is created and then actual irradiation begins.
In the treatment preparation process, we will make customized immobilization devices to prevent your body to be displaced during irradiation, and create devices (bolus and collimator) to form the beam into the shape of the target tumor, and then a treatment rehearsal will be conducted using those devices.
Since proton beam is delivered from any angle through the nozzle mounted on the 360 degree rotating gantry, you will be treated with relaxed and comfortable posture.

Treatment Period

You can receive treatments on outpatient basis

Most patients are scheduled for treatment five days a week, excluding weekends and holidays, for a period of five to eight weeks, depending on the type and the size of a tumor. For example, number of treatments(irradiations) is currently 25 times for prostate cancer.

A treatment session takes about 30 minutes(1 hour for lung, liver, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers). Actual irradiation is only for about 2 minutes, and other than that, we mainly spend on body fixing and precise positioning.

Treatment Cost of Proton Therapy

Treatment Cost

Cost for proton therapy itself is 3,100,000JPY and the tax.
In addition to this, following fees will be charged in accordance with your treatment plan; in-person consultation fees, examination fees, medication fees, hospitalization fees, and others.
For more information regarding the cost, please go to the Inquiry Page.

Payment

Patients are requested to pay the treatment cost and other fees prior to the start of the treatment. The exact total amount may vary according to a type of cancer, treatment period, or number of tests you receive before and during the treatment period.

We will ask you to transfer the total cost to our banking account by due date appear on an invoice.

Sometimes, patients cancel treatment after their treatment plans are created, or though in rare cases, physician decides to cancel the treatment because of rapid progression of the patient’s condition. In these cases, we will refund the treatment cost you have already paid, but 300,000JPY will be charged for costs for the use of special equipment for creating treatment plan, examination fees, and costs for creating personalized devices.

Application

Those who consider for proton therapy at Aizawa Proton Therapy Center, please submit the clinical information and documents.

Our treatment team will review your condition to determine if you are a candidate for proton therapy.
Please submit the following information/documents prior to in-person consultation.

  • A referral letter from your physician summarizing your medical condition
  • Radiological images taken within one month before application, preferably in DICOM format (CT image is mandatory, and others: MRI, PET, bone scanning as needed)
  • Copies of test results or reports
  • Pathology slides and written pathology reports from relevant biopsies
  • Check sheet

If you have any question about our proton therapy center or our services, please go to Inquiry Form page and send us your question.

  • To receive proton therapy, it is important that "accurate diagnosis of cancer" and "Progression of the cancer" have been thoroughly evaluated and confirmed.
  • We recommend you to discuss/talk with your doctor about a treatment option because not every caner types and stages can be treated with proton therapy.
  • Follow-up care is extremely important. Therefore you will have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your health after treatment.
    For international patients, we strongly recommend you to see your doctor regularly and send us the follow-up reports occasionally.
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