Zapping kids' cancers with pinpoint precision

They are two words that should never go together, kids and cancer. But more than 16 out of every 100,000 kids get one form or another. Now, there's a new weapon to help kill this deadly disease.

"I was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma,” Lilly Webb Bone Cancer Patient

It’s a big word for such a little girl, but Lilly webb knows exactly what it means.

Lilly Webb
"It's a small bone generated cancer and it's usually caused by injury," said Lily.

And she knows exactly when it was discovered.

"I was carrying stuff, and then I fell down the stairs," she said.

An increasing pain turned out to be a tumor wrapped around Lilly's spinal cord. Traditional radiation could damage other tissues, so doctors at the knight cancer institute used the new Tomo Therapy HD to help destroy Lilly's cancer.

"The beam is going to come all the way around the patient and the patient is going to slide through," said Carol Marquez, MD, a Radiation Oncologist at the Knight Cancer Center

This machine is the only one using a specific beam pattern to treat a tumor. The radiation beam adjusts to stay on target.

"It spares the normal tissue better," said Dr. Marquez.

Lilly did experience some side effects.

"You get tired and your skin may get itchy," she said.

She was on this table for 28 days straight, for 30 minutes a day.

Carol Marquez, MD
"And usually asking me, can I go to school?" said Dr. Marquez.

Now cancer free, Lilly aced her treatments, and her classes.

"My favorite subject is science," she said.

Tomo HD is used in all types of pediatric cancers, especially brain cancers. In adults it's used for head and neck, rectal, and pancreatic cancers.


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