For Families Wanting Treatment for Pediatric Cancer

Late-onset Complications and Proton Beam Therapy

Thanks to advances in treatment methods, about 70% of pediatric cancers are curable. By the same token, however, as the number of long-term survivors increases, late-onset complications (complications that appear long after treatment) due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and the like are becoming prevalent.

Late-onset complications can greatly affect a child's mental and physical development and quality of life.

Major Late-onset Complications of Pediatric Cancer Treatment

Impaired growth or developmentalLow height, learning disorders, affects on skeletal structure, musculature, or soft tissue, etc.
Effects on the reproductive systemInfertility, etc
Effects on organ functioningReduced kidney functioning, impaired liver functioning, reduced vision or hearing, etc.
Secondary cancers (tumors)Recurrence of new cancers after treatment

Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation therapy, and it makes it possible to irradiate cancel cells with pinpoint precision.

The results of a study comparing the safety (rate of occurrence of adverse events) and therapeutic effectiveness of ordinary radiation therapy and proton beam therapy found proton beam therapy to be safer and just as effective*, and coverage of proton beam therapy for solid cancers in children by national health insurance was approved as of April 2016.

* Material from Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conference on advanced medical treatment (August 6, 2015): Proton Beam Therapy (Particle Beam Treatment Committee, Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology)

Major Types of Pediatric Cancers Treatable by Proton Beam Therapy

Treatment must be conducted in combination with chemotherapy and surgery.
Treatment periods are around 2 to 6 weeks.

Brain tumorsTumors that occur intracranially. Brain tumors frequently seen in children include gliomas, germ-cell tumors, and medulloblastomas.
Rhabdomyosarcomas Tumors that occur in bone or in muscle, adipose, or other soft tissues. These frequently occur in such areas as the head and neck, urinary tract, genitalia, and limbs.
Neuroblastomas Cells which become sympathetic nervesthat have become cancerous, and frequently occur in such locations as sympathetic ganglia along the spine and the adrenal glands.
Malignant lymphomas Malignant tumors occurring in lymphatic tissues. ThisThese frequently occur in the mediastinum (the area surrounded by the left and right lungs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae).

Features of the Kobe Proton Center

This is Japan's first proton-beam treatment facility that gives emphasis to pediatric cancers.

Adjacent and direct connected by a corridor to a children's hospital (hub hospital for pediatric cancer)

This Center is adjacent to Prefectural Kobe Children's Hospital and works in alliance with the hospital's pediatric specialist staff, enabling treatment to be received safely.
The Center also provides appropriate proton beam therapy that takes advantage of expertise cultivated heretofore as a facility attached to the Hyogo Ion Beam Medical Center.

Fully provided with pediatric equipment

The Center is provided with a proton treatment room exclusively for pediatric use. The Center is also provided with amenities (interior design and materials) that take into account the sentiments of small children, enabling them to receive treatment with peace of mind.


Full-time anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists with extensive experience in anesthesizing pediatric patients are also in full-time service for children who need sedation as such times as during lab tests and treatment.

The Center also has rooms for anesthesia administration and recovery for children, and has adopted an examination and treatment system that gives consideration to safety.

Art:Mizue Ogiso

The design of the connecting corridor between the Center and the adjacent Children's Hospital features richly colored depictions of the Ferris wheel, Port Tower, and other familiar Kobe scenery.

Art: Mizue Ogiso


The wall of the pediatric treatment equipment on the third floor features a design whose concept is a "sea tunnel."

Art: Hitoshi Hasegawa