Proton Therapy Treats Childhood Brain Cancer With Fewer Side Effects

Posted: Jan 30 2016, 5:22am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Proton Therapy Treats Childhood Brain Cancer with Fewer Side Effects
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  • Proton Therapy is Ideal for eradicating Brain Tumors with few Side Effects

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It has been found that proton therapy is the ideal treatment for eradicating brain tumors with inviting the scourge of very few accompanying side effects.

Proton therapy is as effective as photon therapy but it doesn’t lead to the same side effects. Normally, deafness and brain malfunctions occur in standard therapy procedures.

Conditions of patients about seven years after proton therapy showed this lack of long term side effects. Proton radiotherapy is not common in the US or anywhere else around the world. But it does have value in being a procedure that is relatively benign.

This lack of side effects is particularly noticeable in children. At special places where the facility is available, it has a near perfect track record of success without any accompanying complications. In its opposite practice, which is photon therapy, a beam of radiation is given at a constant dosage.

This ray of energy passes through the patient’s body. But in case of proton therapy, the dose is very micromanaged so that it does not strike any other tissue in the patient’s body other than the one afflicted with a tumor.

Thus treatment of tumors near the brain or eyes is commonly done via proton therapy. It is simply the best state-of-the-art technique to cure malignant cancerous tumors.

Medulloblastomas are often gotten rid of through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The problem of course remains the ugly side effects that accumulate with treatment.

Hearing loss, cognitive and memory issues and neuroendocrine problems crop up in children and this ruins their chances of living a normal life. The cure is sometimes worse than the disease.

The heart, lungs, thyroid gland, spinal column and genitalia are adversely affected too. In case of children this can have serious consequences.

Children and teenagers from 3 to 21 years of age were included in an experiment. Those of them who had medulloblastoma were treated for six years with both proton and photon therapy.

A dozen died from their tumors. 12% contracted hearing loss. But proton therapy seemed to have little to no effect on these vital stats and functions. The side effects if any were very mild and most likely to be ignored.

This research holds promise for the younger generation in the future. They can undergo tumor treatment without suffering from the concomitant issues that normally crop up.

This study published online in Lancet Oncology.

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