Proton Therapy Center National Education Conference: Day 2 Highlights
Day 2 of the Proton Therapy Center National Education Conference picks up where day 1 left off with insights into lung cancer, physics, dosimetry and more. The conference is designed to educate healthcare professionals on the recent advances, current treatment modalities, and clinical trials in radiation oncology using proton therapy.
Comprehensive Care of Children Receiving Proton Therapy (David Grosshans, MD, PhD)
About 10% of the Proton Therapy Center's patients are children, most of which need anesthesia.
Child Life Specialist Kelly Wagner uses specialized toys, such as a miniature CT scanner, to normalize the hospital environment and mentally prepare children for their proton treatment.
The Proton Therapy Center has dedicated pediatric anesthesiologists and CNRAs. No endotracheal tubes or LMAs are used.
Watch a video of Dr. Grosshans discuss the importance of proton therapy for childhood cancer patients.
Quality and Safety Measures Implemented in the Proton Therapy Center (Michael Gillin, MA, PhD and X. Ronald Zhu, PhD)
Because patients are treated from 6am to 11pm Monday through Friday, the physics team has someone on site 24 hours a day during the week and 12 hours on Saturday performing quality assurance, which typically takes 1-8 hours per patient. Annual reviews are ongoing throughout the year.
Scattered proton beams consist of 3 snout sizes and 8 different energies. Scanned proton beams feature over 94 different energies. With so many variables, time is the ultimate constraint.
Understanding Dosimetry in Proton Beam Therapy (Matthew Palmer, MBA, CMD)
There are multiple treatment planning techniques at a dosimetrists dispense. Passive scattered protons (PSPT) is typically used for tumors with a simple shape and shallow depth. Scanning Pencil Beam (IMPT) is used for concave or complex tumors, often wrapping around critical structures.
Proton therapy treatment has the unique ability to treat with fewer beams and lower the integral dose.
Watch a video of Matt discussing dosimetry's vital role in proton therapy.
Combining Chemotherapy and Proton Beam Therapy (Daniel Gomez, MD)
NSCLC is a deadly disease that requires aggressive, toxic treatment. For this reason, high doses of radiation therapy are often combined with chemotherapy.
Dosimetric advantages are translating to clinical advantages with the transition from 3D-CRT to IMRT. Further improvements in some patients are being realized with proton beam therapy (PBT); however, more randomized clinical trials are important in further elucidating the role of proton therapy. PBT is expected to continue improving the dose distributions and therapeutic ratio.