Proton therapy, a type of external-beam radiation therapy, was first proposed by Robert Wilson in a 1946 article that described the unique physical properties of protons and their potential application in oncology. The first proton centers were actually high-energy research facilities built in the 1950s. Clinically, patients first received proton radiation therapy in 1958. These early centers, although primitive in their design, demonstrated the potential for normal-tissue sparing with more accurate tumor targeting. Consequently, the technology mushroomed and in the past 10 years proton therapy has gained favor for pediatric malignancies. This is for two primary reasons: First, it is well-recognized that the developing organs of pediatric patients are especially sensitive to the damaging effects of ionizing radiation. Second, recent advances in pediatric oncology mean that more children are cured of their cancer, and survivors’ functional and quality-of-life...

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