Proton radiotherapy defines the cutting edge of pediatric cancer treatment. However, it’s been 50 years since that “edge” was etched.
“It is the oldest ‘new’ technology,” said Eugen Hug, MD, an expert and pioneer in the use of proton therapy for pediatric tumors and Director of the International Patient Program at ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Somerset, New Jersey. The first cancer patient to receive proton therapy was treated in Upsala, Sweden, in 1953. Since then, it has been a slow ascendance into acceptance and use.
“Proton therapy was largely relegated to a niche existence in research laboratories, with some patient component,” Hug recalled. “The issue really was the adaptation of a new technology, which takes a long time in medicine. New technologies have to establish themselves.”
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