Advancing Pediatric Cancer Care: Proton Therapy - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

By: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

My name is john maris. I'm the chief of the division of oncology here at children's hospital of philadelphia. Proton therapy is a miracle of modern physics.

It's a way to re-engineer how radiation therapy is done. And by using protons, one is able to get away from the standard type of radiation. And protons give the ability to aim the beam in a much more precise fashion, hit the tumor cells, and not the normal cells in the body. It is an effective means of radiation, but the important thing for children, in particular, is that it will decrease potential side effects of radiation therapy dramatically, and that's why we're so excited about it. The children's hospital of philadelphia has the resources to invest in something like this because the mission is to save lives but to do so with quality. And i think that here we have the opportunity to really take the lead in implementing this technology. What the proton radiation therapy center is is the world's first proton center that was designed with the child in mind and what i mean by that is that the concept of getting radiation therapy, whether it's conventional or proton, and even more so proton, can be extremely scary to a child and a family. We've had the opportunity to warm it up, to make it as child friendly as something like this could be-- to build into it child life therapists, play therapists, and dedicated, experienced pediatric nursing staff, radiation therapy staff, individuals who are used to the care of children and in an environment that is designed for the child.

The other very important factor of this being a center that it was designed with children in mind from the beginning is that we should be able to treat a lot of children with a variety of different cancers from a variety of different areas. The children's hospital of philadelphia can provide a home for that several weeks of radiation therapy, where they can get not only the radiation therapy, but all the other care that goes around caring for a child with cancer.

Advancing Pediatric Cancer Care: Proton Therapy - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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