Dr. Curtiland Deville
There is no one-size-fits-all therapy for localized kidney cancer. For example, surgery, the mainstay of treatment, is not an option for patients who have other serious medical conditions or complicated tumor presentations. Similarly, (SBRT), which delivers a higher amount of radiation in fewer treatments, may not be optimal for patients with a solitary kidney or large tumors close to nearby organs.
Good news: an alternative approach, proton therapy, is being studied in a clinical trial. Radiation oncologists Sherif Shaaban, M.B.B.Ch., M.Sc., and Curtiland Deville, M.D., at the Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital’s Kimmel Cancer Center, have received a grant from the Robert L. Sloan Fund for Cancer Research, for a prospective Phase I/II study, along with Brady co-investigators Nirmish Singla, M.D., M.Sc., Armine Smith, M.D., and Justin Benabdallah, M.D.
“Proton therapy uses a beam of protons to deliver radiation directly to the tumor,” says Shaaban. “The advantage of proton therapy is that it does not exit into normal healthy tissues. We can control where the proton releases the bulk of its cancer-fighting energy – causing the most damage to the tumor cells – while sparing healthy tissues and organs.” Shaaban also has been selected to develop the protocol for this at the ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop.