14 August 2018
Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) is one of the most challenging radiotherapy treatments. As the treatment volume encompasses the entirety of the central nervous system, from the top of the head down to the sacrum, multiple treatment fields have to be perfectly matched to each other.
The side-effects when treating this large target volume, in combination with the possibility of adjuvant chemotherapy, necessitate a multidisciplinary approach. These Patients can furthermore have a reduced neurological performance index as a consequence of their tumor or a recent neurosurgical intervention. CSI is a treatment for which proton therapy will be especially beneficial as it prevents the delivery of a significant radiation dose to nearly all organs in the neck, chest, abdominal and pelvic regions. The clinical introduction of proton therapy for CSI has therefore been a top priority. It is a standard indication for pediatric patients (<18 years old).
Since the start of clinical treatments at the Groningen Proton Therapy Center in January 2018, we have treated patients ranging from toddlers to young adults. Next to excellent medical care, our multidisciplinary pediatric oncologicy team also organizes and ensures top psychological, pedagogical and social assistance. The team assigns a dedicated case manager who also serves as the family’s main contact person. When indicated, pediatric anesthesia is available at the proton therapy center. Patients and their families have the option to stay at the “Familie de Boer Huis” for the duration of their treatment. It offers a home-away-from home at walking distance from the UMC Groningen Proton Therapy Center.