Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Partners in Proton Therapy; Jacksonville Health Care Providers Help Develop Treatment for Kids

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Partners in Proton Therapy; Jacksonville Health Care Providers Help Develop Treatment for Kids

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT COLEMAN

Proton therapy has been around for about 40 years.

The minimally invasive treatment targets a specific area - typically a tumor or other cancerous mass - and shoots a particle beam at infected tissue.

But field research is still in its infancy, and the long-term impact on pediatric patients is unknown, First Coast medical experts said.

That's why a group of five health care providers and support operations - most based in Jacksonville - have established an agency-spanning clinical study.

The hope is the partnership will expand the scope of available research and provide a low-impact option for pediatric oncology patients who might not be able to afford the treatment on their own. It will also come close to doubling the average yearly total of children who receive proton therapy in Jacksonville.

The bulk of the collaboration is between St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville. There are only six proton-therapy institutes in the country, and none is in Memphis.

St. Jude patients accepted for the clinical study will be taken to Jacksonville for about six weeks of treatment. Danny Indelicato, a pediatric radiation oncologist at the UF institute, said the first year of the three-year partnership is capped at 15 children. That can expand to as many as 30 or 40 in the following years.

They will be evaluated as part of a clinical study to determine the effectiveness of proton therapy for rare brain cancers in children younger than 3 years old. Indelicato said the facility has already treated about 110 pediatric patients since its opening in 2006, and the protocol will bolster the staff's experience in dealing with younger subjects.

"It's an amazing opportunity for us to pool resources and data while offering a great course of treatment for these children," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.