Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer by using protons instead of X-rays. Protons are positively charged particles which at high energy destroy tumor cells. Proton therapy is an external beam radiation therapy that delivers radiation through the skin without causing any pain or injury. This is done using a machine called synchrotron or cyclotron that speeds up the protons. The high energy of proton is reflected by its speed. Protons travel to the desired location in the body based on proton energy. Once the protons arrive at the desired location, they deposit specified radiation dose in the tumor. These proton particles damage the tumor cells by acting on the DNA which further irradiate tumor.
Proton therapy aims to act precisely on the tumor cells with minimal effect on neighboring healthy tissue. Proton radiotherapy is especially used for cancer with limited treatment options and where use of X-ray radiotherapy presents a risk to patients. Proton therapy is most preferred treatment for pediatric tumors as it has minimal impact on newly growing tissues, growth abnormalities, and other complications. The accuracy of proton therapy to precisely attack tumor cells along with minimal long term side effects, low risk of complications, and painless treatment as compared to other radiation therapies are anticipated to drive the proton radiotherapy market during the forecast period. Proton therapy is beneficial for patients who are suffering from solid tumors, which means the cancer cell are not spread to other regions of the body. This makes it ideal for inoperable tumors as it does not require surgery. However, limited availability, huge equipment size, and high cost of treatments are likely to restrain the market during the forecast period.
The proton radiotherapy systems market has been segmented based on application, technology, type of system, and region. In terms of application, the market has been segmented into prostate cancer, brain cancer, neck cancer, eye cancer, head cancer, lung cancers, cancer near spine, pediatric cancer, gastro intestinal cancer, and eye melanoma. In developed countries, proton therapy is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and seizure disorders. The prostate cancer segment is anticipated to lead the market owing to increase in the number of cases of prostate cancer diagnosed each year. The pediatric cancer segment is also anticipated to generate high revenue as this therapy has minimal effect on developing and healthy tissues. Based on beam delivery technology, the segment has been categorized into synchrotron and cyclotron. High extraction efficiency and variable energy compatibility of synchrotron technology are anticipated to augment the market during the forecast period.
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In terms of type of system, the proton radiotherapy systems market has been segmented into passive spreading and active spreading (scanning). Passive spreading has been sub-segmented into single and dual scattering. Active spreading has been sub-segmented into uniform scanning and pencil beam scanning. The active spreading segment is anticipated to generate high revenue as it does not require any beam modifying devices, allows treatment of deeper tumors, and provides flexibility to shape the beam.
In terms of region, the proton radiotherapy systems market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe and North America held the major share of the global market as these are developed regions, with advanced health care facilities and high health care expenditure. Most of the proton radiotherapy centers are located in these regions. Asia Pacific is anticipated to gain market share due to opening of new centers for proton therapy, increase in the number of cancer patients, and awareness among people about this harmless and painless technology to treat cancer.
Key players operating in the proton radiotherapy systems market include Ion Beam Applications, Varian Medical Systems, Mevion Medical Systems, Hitachi Ltd., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Ion Beam Applications leads the global proton radiotherapy systems market.