Dr. Matthew Hall, Lead Pediatric Radiation Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute, explains a cyclotron is a powerful magnet that helps speed the protons up and deliver them to the patient for treatment, because they need to be sped up to 2/3 the speed of light. He says proton therapy delivers damage to the DNA that causes it to die, but it can reduce the radiation exposure to surrounding tissues.
Dr. Matthew Hall, Lead Pediatric Radiation Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute, recommends to his patients right before they leave treatment and to go back to school or work to eat healthy, exercise, go to school, and never smoke. He says there is an abundance of evidence and the data surrounding proton therapy continues to grow, because since its inception more than a million patients have received proton therapy in the United States.
Dr. Matthew Hall, Lead Pediatric Radiation Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute, says proton therapy is an advanced form of cancer treatment that delivers radiation precisely to the area where it is needed. He also explains proton treatment helps eliminate the tumor to it never comes back. Proton therapy goes a certain distance and then it stops. "There is a significant decrease in collateral radiation damage compared to conventional radiation."
Dr. Matthew Hall, Lead Pediatric Radiation Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute, says in proton therapy, they are one of the most active segments from Baptist Hospital in the cancer program. "Every child who comes to radiation oncology with a curable brain tumor is a candidate for a clinical trial that we have open and ongoing right now." He points out the clinical trial is looking at volumetric changes within the brain, how the brain anatomy changes, and how the function of the brain changes over time as a consequence of radiation therapy.
Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, stiffness in the jaw, nausea, and tooth decay are some of the symptoms of radiation therapy. Dr. Matthew Hall, Lead Pediatric Radiation Oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute, says those are some of the toxicities they can expect from patients who are treated with conventional radiation for head and neck cancer. He points out the purpose of proton therapy is to significantly reduce these side effects. Some of the side effects of proton therapy are fatigue, headaches, and hair loss around the part of the patient's body being treated.