Childhood Brain Tumours: Proton Beam Therapy
There is a long tradition for multidisciplinary therapy which includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the treatment of paediatric malignancies. In most childhood brain tumours radiotherapy is a necessity for the achievement of local control. However, radiation treatment may also lead to serious late side effects that may affect the quality of life of the children who become long time survivors.
The dosimetric advantages of proton beams make them very attractive for paediatric radiotherapy.
Protons reduce late side effects by sparing normal tissue,
Because of the reduced side effects, it might be possible to escalate the radiation dose resulting in better tumour control and
Protons reduce the risk of secondary malignancy
The advantage of protons over photons has been demonstrated in several treatment planning studies, but there are no randomized controlled studies proving the superiority of protons. Nevertheless, a large number of hospital based modern proton facilities are currently under construction and in the close future protons will be available for a larger group of cancer patients, especially for children. This chapter describes the basic principles of proton radiotherapy and provides a review of the literature on paediatric brain tumours irradiation with special emphasis on the value of proton radiotherapy.
KeywordsPosterior Fossa Proton Therapy Proton Radiotherapy Secondary Cancer Childhood Brain Tumour
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