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5 Ways Proton Therapy Benefits Pediatric Patients

Proton therapy has changed.

Over the past several decades, proton therapy research, usage, and success stories have increased in quantity and quality. 

Intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) is known for its effectiveness in pediatric patient results. The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently published an article exploring a significant decrease in pediatric second tumor risk after proton therapy treatments. The findings cover results from a sample of 1,713 pediatric patients spanning 13 years.

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"Second tumors are rare within the decade following double-scattered proton therapy," NCBI reports. They also state that it is "particularly among children irradiated at >5 years old and those without tumor predisposition syndrome."

Here are 5 Ways Proton Therapy Benefits Pediatric Patients:


1. IMPT does not stunt growtH

A side effect of many traditional cancer treatments, unfortunately, involves stunted growth for pediatric patients. Since proton therapy can target a specific area, the rest of a growing body can remain comparatively unaffected. 

2. IMPT avoids and preserves growing internal organs

Secondary toxicity and additional tumors are both risks with methods like intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT.) Proton therapy allows a specific focus on the cancerous areas without compromising neighboring organs.

3. IMPT is less invasive 

Proton therapy is one of the least invasive types of cancer treatment. Less invasive methods beget more comfortable patients, which then contributes to easier treatment sessions.

4. IMPT can consist of quick session times 

Proton therapy sessions can range from 15-45 minutes each. Being able to quickly and effectively treat children who may be tired, anxious, and physically restless will ensure more effective scanning.

5. IMPT significantly reduces new second tumor risk 

NCBI concluded that second tumor risks for pediatric patients treated with proton therapy are rare. This becomes clear when compared to other treatment methods like IMRT and brachytherapy. 

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In addition to IMPT's ability to target cancerous areas to a precise degree, proton therapy also helps minimize unwanted exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Most notably, its low toxicity reduces the risk of creating any potential second tumors. 

While this is important for cancer patients of any age, it is especially vital to consider using it for viable pediatric patients. 

Check out our other posts in the Mev-Ionosphere blog today for more proton therapy updates, and don't forget to sign up for our upcoming virtual events.


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