Survival rates and cures are much higher in children than in adults, however approximately 15-20% of children will recur and eventually enter a palliative mode of care for their recurrent malignancy. This is a very challenging time for patients and families and requires a multidisciplinary approach to best manage the child’s and family’s needs. Radiotherapy places a significant role in this and is very effective for relieving symptoms associated with recurrent brain tumours, soft tissue and bone metastases. The commonest indication for palliative radiotherapy is pain, and this can be effectively controlled in 65 to 80% of situations in conjunction with good pain management. The presentation provided an overview of the role and approach for the use of radiotherapy in the palliative management of children with recurrent malignancies.
Normand Laperriere, MD FRCPC FRANZCR(Hon)
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Hospital for Sick Children
Department of Radiation Oncology
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Professor, Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto