Proton Therapy for Children
An Ideal Treatment Option for Many Types of Childhood Cancer
University Hospital Proton Therapy Center, in conjunction with the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, is pleased to be able to offer this innovative therapy to treat many types of childhood cancers.
UH Proton Therapy Center is one of the only proton centers in the world that is located on the same campus as a full-service, nationally ranked children’s hospital – UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Benefits of Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is often an ideal treatment option for children, whose developing bodies are especially prone to radiation side effects. With its focused treatment, proton therapy offers significant benefits to pediatric patients, including:
- Limits exposure to still-developing young bodies
- May decrease risk for radiation-induced secondary cancers, developmental delays and growth abnormalities
Cancers We Treat
Protons are most successful in treating solid tumors with well-defined borders that have not spread. Children with tumors in critical areas such as the brain, head, neck, lungs and spine may benefit from the precise dosage of radiation provided by proton therapy.
What to Expect
In general, proton therapy for children follows the same process as for adults. However, sedation can be used during proton therapy treatment sessions in children if needed. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital established one of the first freestanding pediatric sedation units and is a leader in IV-based sedative medicine for radiation.
The treatment process for receiving proton therapy is very similar to receiving X-ray treatments. During a session, the actual proton beam time is about one to two minutes, but each treatment session may last up to an hour due to the time spent positioning the patient. Proton therapy sessions occur over a period of up to eight weeks. Because treatments are noninvasive, patients are able to continue with their daily activities throughout treatment.