New York Proton Center Joins Nationwide Clinical Trial Evaluating Proton v. Photon Therapy for Patients with Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer
Trial results could change the treatment paradigm for breast cancer, one of the fastest growing conditions to be treated by innovative ultra-precise proton radiotherapy
New York, NY – October 26, 2020 – Today, the New York Proton Center (NYPC), the New York City-based cancer institution launched in partnership by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System, announced it is joining the first national randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of proton therapy compared to traditional radiotherapy for patients with locally advanced breast cancer. The announcement will make the high-impact, multicenter Radiotherapy Comparative Effectiveness Study (RadComp) available to patients in the New York metro region.
The study is the largest such randomized trial to date, evaluating data from more than 1,200 patients at 23 proton therapy research sites across the country, to compare these two modalities. Endpoints for the study include patient quality of life, rate of major cardiovascular events, and frequency and severity of radiation toxicity.
“Our ultimate goal is to improve access to proton therapy for locally advanced breast cancer patients so that they can receive optimal care without current barriers, from lack of referrals to lack of insurance coverage,” said Dr. Isabelle Choi, Director of Research at the NYPC. “While it has long been known that proton therapy can better protect the heart and lungs from unnecessary irradiation associated with breast cancer radiotherapy, the RadComp Consortium is performing critical work that will provide the rigorous study results needed by key interested groups—from insurance payers to practitioners skeptical of proton radiotherapy who demand high level evidence.”
Nearly every research-producing proton institution in the United States is contributing data to the trial, including the Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Emory University; co-principal investigators at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Massachusetts General Hospital; and the University of Pennsylvania, which is spearheading the ambitious, potentially practice-changing effort.
“Today, with so many more proton centers nationally than a decade ago, we have the capability to conduct more large-scale, high-impact studies that have the potential to change the standard of care for breast cancer,” said Dr. Oren Cahlon, Vice Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-principal investigator of the RadComp Study. “The utilization of proton therapy for breast cancer has increased over the past decade. This study should validate why that trend should continue, and why proton therapy should continue to be integrated within the treatment paradigm for a broader population of patients.”
The RadComp Study is one of several federally-funded national multicenter clinical trials open or getting underway at the New York Proton Center that promise to significantly expand the body of randomized evidence supporting the use of proton therapy compared to photon therapy across a number of disease sites. These include esophageal cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancers, liver cancers, and brain tumors. Now that the large-scale approach is feasible, there is greater potential to accumulate treatment-changing evidence that influences payers, policymakers and practitioners alike to make the most advanced and effective radiotherapy option available to more patients.
About the New York Proton Center
The New York Proton Center is creating the gold standard for proton therapy, giving new hope to patients living with cancer. In partnership with leading academic medical centers—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, and ProHEALTH as manager—the New York Proton Center brings together expert oncologists, clinical care teams, and researchers to improve cancer care and advance the clinical evidence for proton therapy.