Proton Therapy is unique in its accuracy and in its heightened ability to avoid damage to healthy cells or tissues during treatment. Because Proton Therapy precisely targets the tumor, it requires exact patients positioning. While the procedure itself is painless, the immobilization constraints may necessitate the provision of sedation or anesthesia for children, during simulation and treatment, to ensure patient safety.
This procedure might sound frightening, but watch Zahra, she has given us another great lesson here !
Having already received 20 fractions, she is still happy to come every day to the Hampton Proton Therapy Centre to get her treatment.
Zahra is a shy 7-year old girl diagnosed with medulloblastoma on September 2019. Her presenting symptoms included ataxia, nystagmus, and headaches. She quickly underwent a surgery to remove most of her brain tumor, and a shunt was placed during the resection due to papilledema and evidence of hydrocephalus at diagnosis.
On post-operative imaging, a 2 cm residual disease was identified. Her mother noted some right-sided motor weakness post-operatively and posterior fossa syndrome. By November 2019, Zahra started weekly chemotherapy and had been referred to SAH Care for Proton Therapy.
Zahra traveled to the US with her parents and has been treated by our Dr Allan Thornton at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. She came to the centre every day from Monday to Friday for 1 hour to receive her recommended total of 33 fractions. And every day she received a light anesthesia to ensure she didn’t move during the treatment.
Zahra had elected Walter, our Anesthesia Nurse, as her new best friend. Every day, they were walking together along the corridor to fetch Zahra’s anesthesia stretcher. Singing, playing, and laughing.
Zahra successfully completed her treatment in Hampton and went back home. Approximately 2 months after completion of proton therapy, all symptoms are currently resolved per Zahra’s mother.
When we saw her in February 2020, Zahra appeared to be recovering well and no longer complained of any symptom. She plays well and seems to have few current limitations to her activity.