Dosimetric Comparison and Potential for Improved Clinical Outcomes of Paediatric CNS Patients Treated with Protons or IMRT.
BACKGROUND: We compare clinical outcomes of paediatric patients with CNS tumours treated with protons or IMRT. CNS tumours form the second most common group of cancers in children. Radiotherapy plays a major role in the treatment of many of these patients but also contributes to late side effects in long term survivors. Radiation dose inevitably deposited in healthy tissues outside the clinical target has been linked to detrimental late effects such as neurocognitive, behavioural and vascular effects in addition to endocrine abnormalities and second tumours. METHODS: A literature search was performed using keywords: protons, IMRT, CNS and paediatric. Of 189 papers retrieved, 10 were deemed relevant based on title and abstract screening. All papers directly compared outcomes from protons with photons, five papers included medulloblastoma, four papers each included craniopharyngioma and low grade gliomas and three papers included ependymoma. RESULTS: This review found that while proton beam therapy offered similar clinical target coverage, there was a demonstrable reduction in integral dose to normal structures. CONCLUSIONS: This in turn suggests the potential for superior long term outcomes for paediatric patients with CNS tumours both in terms of radiogenic second cancers and out-of-field adverse effects.