Lurie Children's offers patients with pediatric brain tumors access to proton therapy, an advanced form of cancer therapy that precisely targets radiation to tumors, through the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center.
Proton therapy is an effective form of radiation therapy for many types of tumors. It destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing, just like standard radiation. The difference between proton therapy and standard radiation is that while protons deposit much of their dose directly in the tumor and then stop, conventional radiation continues to deposit the dose beyond the tumor. The unique behavior of protons allows tumors to receive more targeted doses, which can be more effective, while reducing damage to the healthy tissues that surround the tumor. Studies show that using proton therapy to control pediatric tumors provides excellent results while reducing damage to healthy tissue and reducing the likelihood of cancers occurring at other sites in the body.
The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center offers a clinic that presents a streamlined consultation process for patients and a greater integration of clinical and research services overall. The multidisciplinary team of physicians, including Lurie Children’s hematology/oncology specialists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, pediatric anesthesia and critical care clinicians, work together to provide highly efficient and comprehensive treatment.