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Editor's Correspondence
June 22, 1998

Proton Irradiation for Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(12):1378-1379. doi:

Surgical resection is generally chosen to treat patients with stages IA to IIIA non–small cell lung cancer. However, some patients cannot tolerate surgical intervention because of concomitant illnesses, such as severe pulmonary emphysema or coronary artery diseases. We have treated such patients with radiation therapy using the proton beam, which has been used successfully to treat several other malignant diseases.1-4 The proton beam has a Bragg peak that can limit distribution of the beam,2 which reduces radiation to nontargeted areas while increasing radiation to the target.