Treatment for children
If necessary, a general anaesthetic is sometimes necessary to ensure proper positioning during the simulation session and treatment sessions. As far as possible, depending on the child’s profile, the radiotherapy team uses “distractive” methods to ensure the child’s cooperation during the sessions to avoid having to resort to a general anaesthetic.
The main principles of the stages of treatment for children are identical to those for adults.
The information delivered and the care provided are adapted according to the age of the child.
Request for treatment
The request for proton therapy treatment is made by the referring onco-paediatric centre where the patient is initially receiving care.
This request must be sent, with a complete medical file, to the radiotherapy department of the François Baclesse Centre. In practical terms, the medical file may be sent electronically to a secure area via a link that will be sent to the requesting doctor.
The request is submitted for notification to a national conference specialized in paediatric radiotherapy which gives its opinion as to the appropriateness of the indication of proton therapy.
If the request is validated, an initial appointment is proposed to the patient at the François Baclesse Centre. Specialized consultations are also organized with a doctor specializing in paediatric oncology at the Caen University Hospital.
The requesting doctor is kept informed of the treatment and can have secure access to the patient’s medical record data updated in real time. For a request to access this service, contact the IT department of the François Baclesse Centre.
Proton therapy treatment begins with a consultation with the specialist doctor in the Centre who will be the child’s referent at the François Baclesse Centre.
He will inform the child and his/her parents about the treatment and organize his/her care pathway with the help of the radiotherapy staff.
In parallel, a paediatric coordinator will act as a link with the child and his/her parents to transmit information in a way that is appropriate for the age of the child and support them in the organization of the treatment.
If it appears necessary to put the child to sleep for the simulation and treatment sessions, a consultation appointment will be organized with an anaesthetist at least 3 days before the simulation session.
Simulation and dosimetry
To prepare for the treatment, imaging of the tumour must be made by scanner. This is known as simulation. This imaging session can be performed under general anaesthetic if needed, depending on the child’s ability to remain still.
This preparation takes place in the radiotherapy department of the François Baclesse Centre.
The best position for treatment is provided by personalized accessories known as “restraints”: headrest, mask, knee rest, etc. The same accessories must always be used for treatment sessions.
An identification sheet with a portrait photo is given to the patient at the end of the simulation. It must be brought each time he/she comes to the radiotherapy department.
The simulation lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
The images collected during this scan are used to computer-model the best possible treatment: the one that will be the most effective against the tumour and the least damaging for the surrounding healthy tissue. This optimization work, known as dosimetry, can take up to 15 days.
The proton therapy sessions take place at a rate of one session per day, 5 days a week, for 3 to 7 weeks depending on the proposed treatment and validated in the Multidisciplinary Consultation Meetings.
The treatment sessions take place in the care unit located at the proton therapy centre, on the CYCLHAD site, 5 minutes away from the François Baclesse Centre.
The sessions last between 30 minutes and 1 hour, especially in case of general anaesthetic.
The proton therapy treatment sessions on the CYCLHAD site are performed from 7am to 10pm.