Proton imaging provides more accuracy, less radiation to pediatric cancer patients

April 29, 2011

Proton radiography imaging used prior to and during proton treatments for pediatric cancer patients provides for more accurate treatment delivery and a lower dose of radiation compared to standard diagnostic X-rays and cone beam CT, according to a study presented today at the Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta. The symposium is co-sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The amount of radiation a pediatric cancer patient receives is a top concern for physicians, as children's bodies are still growing rapidly and excess radiation to normal tissues can cause more problems in children than in adults. Pediatric cancer patients are also more susceptible to radiation induced malignancies and toxicities from both diagnostic and therapeutic radiation.

Researchers investigated pediatric patients with various cancers to evaluate the use of proton radiography as well as nonpediatric to evaluate the ability of proton radiography to allow real-time tumor tracking while the patient is breathing. The images were compared to both diagnostic quality X-ray portal images and digitally reconstructed radiographs from CT data.

They found that proton radiography provided higher quality images to determine tumor location and to use during daily quality assurance checks and tumor tracking with less radiation than an X-ray or CT scan.

"Proton imaging techniques have been around in the field of for over 30 years; however, poor image quality reduced its use in mainstream proton oncology centers. In recent years, novel developments in detector technology, very fast (pico-second) electronics and single-event reconstruction imaging have allowed a significant improvement in the quality of the images, which can benefit ultimately proton oncology." Shannon MacDonald, MD, a study author and radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said.

"The development and enhancement of proton imaging has the advantage of allowing for a further decrease in radiation delivery to healthy growing tissues outside of the tumor, which is so important when treating children."

More information: The abstract, "Proton Radiography for Pediatric Malignancies; Development and Enhancement of a Proton Imaging Technique," will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2011.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

Combining CAR T cells with existing immunotherapies may overcome resistance in glioblastomas

July 19, 2017
Genetically modified "hunter" T cells successfully migrated to and penetrated a deadly type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma (GBM) in a clinical trial of the new therapy, but the cells triggered an immunosuppressive tumor ...

How CD44s gives brain cancer a survival advantage

July 19, 2017
Understanding the mechanisms that give cancer cells the ability to survive and grow opens the possibility of developing improved treatments to control or cure the disease. In the case of glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest ...

New way found to boost immunity in fight cancer and infections

July 19, 2017
An international research team led by Université de Montréal medical professor Christopher Rudd, director of research in immunology and cell therapy at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, has identified a key ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.