May is brain tumor awareness month, and the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a regional resource with radiation oncologists who specialize in treating brain tumors and other central nervous system tumors. Our pediatric program is well-known worldwide for excellence in treating rare tumors such as craniopharyngioma and ependymoma. Of the pediatric patients we have treated, 65% have had a brain tumor. What makes proton therapy optimal for treating brain tumors? In children, we can reduce the amount of collateral radiation to healthy, growing brain tissue and other critical structures such as the eyes, ears and pituitary gland. This means less risk of cognitive, visual or hearing impairment, and hormone deficiency. These same benefits are seen in adult brain tumor patients as well. And because more targeted radiation doses are given, better tumor control may be achieved. This is the two-fold benefit of proton therapy, excellent tumor control and excellent quality of life outcomes for patients.
Stuart L. Klein