Proton therapy is proposed as a preferred irradiation technique for treating childhood cancers, particularly those affecting the radiosensitive developing central nervous system.
Two newly studies, led by Christine Hill-Kayser from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, show the potential benefits of proton therapy for pediatric patients.
The effect of proton therapy on the brainstem has been a subject of much debate, but the study’s datas show how pencil-bema scanning proton therapy does not increase the risk compared to conventional photon techniques.
The authors say that these data warrant further study, especially in high-risk patients and those who have had prior radiation therapy.
Regardless of technique, expertise in proton therapy planning and strict adherence to safety constraints is essential, particularly in treatment of tumours near the brainstem.
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