• Radiologic Technology News

Proton Therapy Effective for Ependymoma

Mar 22, 2017

In a study published in the journal Cancer, proton therapy can be as effective as photon-based radiation therapy in the treatment of pediatric ependymoma, a form of brain tumor that affects the central nervous system. Up to half of patients diagnosed with ependymoma are younger than three years of age.

Standard treatment includes surgical removal of the tumor followed by photon-based radiation, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy. However, photon-based radiation treatment has been associated with complications, including impaired cognitive development. Proton-beam radiation therapy does not damage normal tissue and may be as effective as IMRT for postsurgical treatment.

For this retrospective review, the authors compared medical records of 79 pediatric patients with ependymoma treated with surgery and IMRT or PRT between 2000 and 2013. The average age at diagnosis was 3.7 years.

The authors concluded proton therapy yields a similar three-year progression-free survival rate to photon-based radiation therapy. While rare in adults, ependymomas are the sixth most common brain tumor in children, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.

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