External radiotherapy with high energy photons in children's brain tumors improves the results of surgical treatment according to their histology. Radiotherapy treatment is a decisive factor in survival time and quality of life. Undifferentiated tumors with high radiosensitivity are treated when radiotherapy is the only means of treatment; in tumors presenting histologically low malignancy effective radiotherapy treatment is uncertain and the risk of radiotherapy damage is the predominant factor. Radiotherapists who treat children's brains which in many cases are not yet totally myelinized, must have good technical ability. The literature and personal experience show that in medulloblastomas irradiation of the entire central nervous system associated with chemotherapy gives a survival time of 5 years in 50% of the cases; in glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas, fortunately rare in children, results are poor; in brainstem tumors the association of the extracranial shunt with radiotherapy has improved results of survival time at 5 years to 50%. A good quality of life is frequent and radiological effects are rare. It is clear that radiotherapy has reached its maximum. Progress is still to be made thanks to discoveries of more effective radiosensitizer or radioprotector compounds.
|Translated title of the contribution||Brain tumor radiotherapy in childhood|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1984|
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