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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Mar 1;58(3):727-34.

Advantage of protons compared to conventional X-ray or IMRT in the treatment of a pediatric patient with medulloblastoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



To compare treatment plans from standard photon therapy to intensity modulated X-rays (IMRT) and protons for craniospinal axis irradiation and posterior fossa boost in a patient with medulloblastoma.


Proton planning was accomplished using an in-house 3D planning system. IMRT plans were developed using the KonRad treatment planning system with 6-MV photons.


Substantial normal-tissue dose sparing was realized with IMRT and proton treatment of the posterior fossa and spinal column. For example, the dose to 90% of the cochlea was reduced from 101.2% of the prescribed posterior fossa boost dose from conventional X-rays to 33.4% and 2.4% from IMRT and protons, respectively. Dose to 50% of the heart volume was reduced from 72.2% for conventional X-rays to 29.5% for IMRT and 0.5% for protons. Long-term toxicity with emphasis on hearing and endocrine and cardiac function should be substantially improved secondary to nontarget tissue sparing achieved with protons.


The present study clearly demonstrates the advantage of conformal radiation methods for the treatment of posterior fossa and spinal column in children with medulloblastoma, when compared to conventional X-rays. Of the two conformal treatment methods evaluated, protons were found to be superior to IMRT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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