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Proton therapy carries precise, potent punch against children's cancers
Date:6/1/2010

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announces the availability of proton therapy, a precise form of cancer radiation that offers potentially life-changing benefits to children with brain tumors and other solid tumors. The Hospital's Cancer Center has recently begun using proton treatment at the new Roberts Proton Therapy Center, a cutting-edge radiation oncology facility located across the street from Children's Hospital in Penn Medicine's Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

With a child diagnosed with a brain tumor, parents often face a cruel dilemma. Conventional radiation treatment that offers survival often risks severe side effects, including damage to surrounding healthy tissue, as well as impairments to hearing, vision, growth and cognition. The after-effects may impede a child's daily life and may carry the prospect of lifelong disability and dependence. In fact, the side effects are potentially devastating enough that conventional radiation therapy is not given to children under age two.

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the only proton therapy facility in the country conceived with pediatric patients in mind from the earliest planning stages. Children who receive proton therapy in this $140 million state-of-the-art facility benefit from a long-standing collaboration between Children's Hospital and radiation oncologists at Penn Medicine. Young patients experience family-focused pediatric care from a medical team who understands the unique needs of children with cancer, while providing emotional support for the entire family. Every detail has been considered-- from scheduling morning treatments for children who cannot eat prior to anesthesia, to offering a dedicated child-oriented waiting room and a dedicated pediatric anesthesia room.

"When the Roberts Proton Therapy Center's pediatric program is fully operational, the Cancer Center at Children's Hospital will be able to treat more children with proton therapy than
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Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
Salis@email.chop.edu
267-426-6063
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert  

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