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Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that delivers highly-focused radiation to tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, at Orlando Health, is proud to now offer this state-of-the-art treatment for children at the Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center Proton Therapy Center.
Proton therapy harnesses the unique physical properties of protons, which are hydrogen atoms, to deliver radiation therapy for cancer with unprecedented precision and accuracy. Unlike X-rays, protons can be targeted to release most of their energy within the tumor with little or no exposure to tissue outside the tumor. The result is a more effective option for treating certain types of cancer, including pediatric cancers, while causing fewer harmful side effects.
Advantages of Proton Therapy for Pediatric Cancer
Because a child’s developing tissue is especially susceptible to the negative effects of radiation, proton therapy offers significant advantages in treating pediatric cancer. Potential advantages include:
- Decreased risk of growth and developmental abnormalities in pediatric patients.
- Safer treatment of tumors located close to critical organs and highly sensitive areas, such as the spinal cord, retina, optic nerves, heart and brain.
- Decreased risk of radiation-induced cancer as protons deposit less dose to surrounding normal tissue.
- Reduced acute and long-term side effects than conventional radiation treatment.
Pediatric Cancers Treated with Proton Therapy
Proton therapy can be used for the following types of pediatric cancer.
Pediatric Brain Tumors:
- Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma
- Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor
- ntracranial Germ Cell Tumor
- Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)
- Anaplastic astrocytoma
- Vestibular Schwannoma
- Optic pathway glioma
- Ewing’s sarcoma
Selected cases of:
- Wilm’s tumor
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
At Arnold Palmer Hospital, our multidisciplinary team will partner with you to determine if proton therapy is right for your child. More information about our proton therapy is available at the Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center Proton Therapy Center.