Rady Children’s has partnered with Scripps Health to offer pediatric and young adult patients proton therapy. This highly advanced therapy is provided at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, the only proton beam center in San Diego and just one of four west of the Rockies.
As California’s only program providing the most advanced proton therapy for pediatric brain and central nervous system tumors, Rady Children’s will serve as the neuro-oncology referral center for the western United States. Pediatric patients, both here in San Diego and referred from out of the area, will be followed by our Neuro-Oncology team during their treatment.
Treatment is provided by the Proton Therapy team, which includes Dr. Andrew Chang, a pediatric radiation oncologist and chief of pediatric proton beam therapy, other radiation oncologists, certified pediatric oncology nurses, radiation therapists, medical dosimetrists, medical physicists and pediatric anesthesiologists.
Advantages for Children
Proton therapy has been successfully used with children for more than 20 years. It is considered ideal for pediatric patients, as it provides a more precise and aggressive approach to destroying certain tumors compared to conventional X-ray radiation. See the tumors treated here.
The therapy involves the use of a controlled beam of protons to target tumors with control and precision unavailable in other radiation therapies. At the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, this therapy can be delivered even more accurately with pencil beam technology. The targeted delivery of proton energy limits damage to healthy surrounding tissue and allows for a more potent and effective dose of radiation to be used.
Less damage to the healthy surrounding tissue is especially important for children, as it means less damage to growing organs, such as the brain, heart and lungs. As a result, long-term complications associated with X-ray therapy are significantly reduced as well, such as growth and hormonal deficiencies and the risk of secondary cancers later in life.
The 102,000-square-foot Scripps Proton Therapy Center has the capacity to treat approximately 2,400 pediatric and adult patients annually.
For families living outside the United States or the San Diego region, please see our International Services page.
In the News
- New Survey Shows 36% Increase in Pediatric Patients Treated with Proton Therapy, Medical Xpress, features Andrew Chang, M.D.
- Phoenix Mayo Clinic Proton Therapy Center to Open in March, The Republic, features Andrew Chang, M.D.
- Scripps Reports Results at First All-Pencil-Beam Proton Center in US, Medical Xpress,
- Strong Willed, U-T San Diego
- Proton Therapy Offers Beam of Hope, Sandiego6.com
- Proton Therapy is Final Step in Amazing Recovery, Virtualstrategymagazine.com
- 5-Year-Old Brain Cancer Patient to Start Kindergarten After Proton Therapy, Digitaljournal.com
- Teen Hopes Proton Therapy Puts an End to Her Tumor, U-T San Diego
Video: First pediatric patient receives proton therapy
To find out if proton therapy is right for your child, fill out this form or call 858-966-4096 or 800-788-9029.