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In the developing child, conventional radiation treatment frequently results in irradiation of kidneys, bones, ovaries and other organs and tissues. Irradiation of tumors in the retroperitoneum like neuroblastomas or Wilms' tumors has proven to be a major challenge.
Proton radiation therapy is used to minimize, and in some cases, completely eliminate unnecessary irradiation of the contralateral kidney (in Wilms' tumors) and even of the kidney of the same side. Also, depending on location and tumor type, irradiation of the ovaries, pelvic bones, small and large bowels, and hip joint can be minimized or possibly avoided altogether. This can often be accomplished while using the same radiation dose level and volume required by national protocols.
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