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Proton beam radiation therapy in the treatment of pediatric central nervous system malignancies: a review of the literature



Proton beam radiation therapy in the treatment of pediatric central nervous system malignancies: a review of the literature



Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 26(3): 142-149



One of 5 pediatric cancers occurs within the central nervous system. Although outcomes have improved, the greatest challenge with these patients remains the balance between cure and long-term morbidity. Patients who have undergone radiation therapy remain at high risk for developing a multitude of severe long-term sequelae. As radiation therapy remains a mainstay of treatment much attention has gone into improving its quality and precision. Multiple options exist for these patients, including conventional photon radiotherapy, conformal radiation, and now, proton beam radiotherapy. Proton beams are able to provide utmost precision for targeting the site of the tumor while decreasing radiation doses to surrounding tissues. Studies are showing that the benefits of proton therapy surpass both conventional radiation as well as conformal radiation therapy, and as a result medical centers around the United States are working to open more facilities and improve patient access. As research becomes more readily available and new centers open, pediatric patients will have the option to be treated with this technology in order to preserve cognitive function and decrease long-term effects.

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Accession: 055259931

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19460891

DOI: 10.1177/1043454209334357


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