The preferred curative treatment of primary bone cancer is surgery.
However, for some patients radiotherapy is required either instead of, or alongside, the surgical removal of the tumour; particularly in tumour locations where surgery cannot be adequately performed, such as the pelvis or the spinal cord. Unfortunately, the side effects of radiotherapy limit its delivery dose and therapeutic effect.
In recent years, advances in radiotherapy have led to the introduction of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and Proton Beam Therapy (PT). Both technologies allow a more targeted delivery of radiation, creating accurate and consistent treatment, while allowing a larger radiotherapy dose to be administered with reduced side-effects to normal tissues.
This project is the first of its kind to assess the use of IMRT and Proton Beam Therapy specifically in primary bone cancer patients. The project aims to determine if these methods can improve survival rates for patients who do not respond to surgery, while identifying subgroups of patients who may respond better to IMRT or Proton Beam Therapy in order to use these technologies to their best advantage.
It also aims to assess the effectiveness of these treatments in patients with inoperable primary pelvic or spinal bone cancer, with the hope to set national standards of radiotherapy care across the UK and reduce the risk of primary bone cancers relapsing.