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Proton Therapy Shows Effectiveness in Pediatric Cases

One of the worst scenarios for a parent is receiving the news that your child is suffering from cancer. This can have a devastating effect on the whole family and would be a terrible blow. A new form of therapy, more targeted and less taxing on the body, can hopefully alleviate, at least in part, [...]

One of the worst scenarios for a parent is receiving the news that your child is suffering from cancer. This can have a devastating effect on the whole family and would be a terrible blow. A new form of therapy, more targeted and less taxing on the body, can hopefully alleviate, at least in part, some of your worries.

It’s not necessarily the diagnosis that instills all that fear and heartbreak, but rather the thought of having to put someone young through one of the most grueling experiences on Earth. The standard course of action with cancer cases involves chemotherapy, sessions of radiation and possibly surgery. Each stage presenting unique risks and serious adverse effects.

This innovative proton therapy option can be better aimed at the affected areas and is less damaging on surrounding tissue, making it ideal for pediatric cases. In instances where, for example, spinal cord treatment is required, current radiation procedures would also expose other organs, like the heart, lungs, bowels. The advantage of using proton beams therapy (PTB) is that it can be focused on specific regions and stopped on precise points that need to be targeted.

So far, testing has been conducted on patients with rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, and other types of cancer. Across the board results were positive, and there is a great potential for improving survivorship.

Authors of the study concluded that: “we report low rates of acute toxicity in a cohort of pediatric patients with head and neck malignancies. PBT appears safe for this patient population, with local control rates similar to historical reports. Longer followup will be required to evaluate late toxicity and longterm disease control”.

A lot of the time the treatment a child receives is different from adult therapies, as they are more sensitive and need extra care. This procedure is a safer alternative with minimal negative ramifications for his future

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