Proton radiotherapy: a therapeutic opportunity for pediatric brain tumor patients

Rombi, Barbara (2021) Proton radiotherapy: a therapeutic opportunity for pediatric brain tumor patients, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia, ematologia e patologia, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9567.
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Proton radiation therapy is a form of external radiation that uses charged particles which have distinct physical advantages to deliver the majority of its dose in the target while minimizing the dose of radiation to normal tissues. In children who are particularly susceptible even at low and medium doses of radiation, the significant reduction of integral dose can potentially mitigate the incidence of side effects and improve quality of life. The aim of the first part of the thesis is to describe the physical and radiobiological properties of protons, the Proton Therapy Center of Trento (TCPT) active for clinical purpose since 2014, which use the most recent technique called active pencil beam scanning. The second part of the thesis describes the preliminary clinical results of 23 pediatric patients with central nervous system tumors as well as of two aggressive pediatric meningiomas treated with pencil beam scanning. All the patients were particularly well-suited candidates for proton therapy (PT) for possible benefits in terms of survival and incidence of acute and late side effects. We reported also a multicentric experience of 27 medulloblastoma patients (median age 6 years, M/F ratio 13/14) treated between 2015 and 2020 at TPTC coming from three Pediatric oncology centers: Bologna, Florence, and Ljubljana, with a focus on clinical results and toxicities related to radiotherapy (RT). Proton therapy was associated with mostly mild acute and late adverse effects and no cases of CNS necrosis or high grade of neuroradiological abnormailities. Comparable rates of survival and local control were obtained to those achievable with conventional RT. Finally, we performed a systematic review to specifically address the safety of PT for pediatric CNS patients, late side effects and clinical effectiveness after PT in this patient group.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Rombi, Barbara
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Proton radiotherapy, pediatric, SNC tumor
Data di discussione
19 Maggio 2021

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