Features  |   September 2014
30 Anesthetics on the Same Child – Really! Pediatric Ambulatory Anesthesia for Proton Radiation
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Ambulatory Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Features
Features   |   September 2014
30 Anesthetics on the Same Child – Really! Pediatric Ambulatory Anesthesia for Proton Radiation
ASA Monitor 09 2014, Vol.78, 22-23.
ASA Monitor 09 2014, Vol.78, 22-23.
Proton therapy, a type of external-beam radiation therapy, was first proposed by Robert Wilson in a 1946 article that described the unique physical properties of protons and their potential application in oncology.1  The first proton centers were actually high-energy research facilities built in the 1950s. Clinically, patients first received proton radiation therapy in 1958. These early centers, although primitive in their design, demonstrated the potential for normal-tissue sparing with more accurate tumor targeting. Consequently, the technology mushroomed and in the past 10 years proton therapy has gained favor for pediatric malignancies. This is for two primary reasons: First, it is well-recognized that the developing organs of pediatric patients are especially sensitive to the damaging effects of ionizing radiation. Second, recent advances in pediatric oncology mean that more children are cured of their cancer, and survivors’ functional and quality-of-life endpoints are of highest importance. According to a recent patterns-of-care study,2  the total number of children treated at U.S. proton centers increased 33 percent between 2010 and 2012 (from 465 patients in 2010 to 694 patients in 2012). In 2012, the three most commonly treated pediatric tumors were brain tumors (ependymoma, 106 patients; medulloblastoma, 89 patients; and low-grade glioma [LGG], 78 patients).
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