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Research Letter
August 6, 2020

Race Disparities in Proton Radiotherapy Use for Cancer Treatment in Patients Enrolled in Children’s Oncology Group Trials

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Division of Population Sciences, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC RI), Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • 4Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis
JAMA Oncol. 2020;6(9):1465-1468. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2259

Proton radiotherapy is a high-cost, limited resource, for which the most robust evidence-based indications are in pediatric cancers owing to its ability to reduce long-term adverse effects compared with photon therapy.1-3 Most proton radiotherapy facilities are located in metropolitan areas or at major academic centers, and therefore require physician referral to the center for treatment. In addition, radiotherapy involves daily treatment for up to 8 weeks, requiring patients to potentially relocate to obtain treatment. Owing to the potential barriers to proton radiotherapy access, we aimed to assess the association of race and socioeconomic factors with proton use in patients with solid malignant diseases enrolled on Children’s Oncology Group (COG) prospective trials.

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