St. Jude Stories of Hope: Proton therapy at St. Jude - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

St. Jude Stories of Hope: Proton therapy at St. Jude


(WRCB) -- The first proton therapy center dedicated solely to the treatment of children is under construction, being built on the St. Jude campus.

Channel 3 talked with Dr. Zsila Sadighi, a Pediatric Neurologist. She says this new proton therapy center will allow them to map out genetics of brain tumors and find specific genetic problems in a particular brain tumor and then target therapy to treat it.

Dr. Zsila Sadighi says, "It's a different form of radiation and so it is more specifically, it won't scatter as it enters the brain, does damage to surrounding tissue, it specifically focuses on the tumor."

With this new technology, unlike traditional radiation, it only hits the area doctors want it to hit, which means patients will have minimal side effects.

Dr. Zsila Sadighi says, "You do not have to worry about other structures in the brain such as your visual pathway being affected."

That new proton beam will cost St. Jude 65 million dollars. This new center is 340,000 square feet and it will have three surgery suits and eight ICU rooms, each with it's own parent's room.

St. Jude expects to treat 250 children a year with brain tumors, all without any cost or worry to the patient and their family.

But to do that they rely on fundraiser's like the Dream Home.

Dr. Zsila Sadighi says, "It's so important to keep supporting St. Jude because the best research is coming out of this hospital and it's directly affecting Chattanooga."

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