Taipei, June 7 (CNA) A 10-month-old girl with a rare form of brain cancer has become the youngest patient to have a tumor removed using proton beam therapy at Taipei Medical University Hospital's (TMUH) Proton Center.
In a statement Wednesday, TMUH said the girl underwent the treatment shortly after the Proton Center began receiving patients in August last year, adding that she was steadily recovering.
According to the hospital, the treatment successfully removed an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) that filled the central part of the girl's posterior cranial fossa.
Wong Tai-tong (黃棣棟), a children's cancer specialist at TMUH, said that radiotherapy treatments such as proton beam therapy are not usually recommended for patients under the age of 3 due to the potential impact on a child's physical development.
However, the survival rate for ATRT patients who do not receive radiotherapy is extremely low, Wong said, adding that proton beam treatment allowed for concentrated targeting of a tumor while at the same time reducing harmful effects to surrounding tissue and other healthy organs.
According to Wong, ATRT is a rare disease prone to affecting children under 2, with around two cases every two years in Taiwan.