CHICAGO, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IBA Particle Therapy, the worldwide leader in proton therapy, is supporting children who have cancer through a $20,000 grant to Compass to Care Childhood Cancer Foundation, a 501c(3) charitable organization. According to Michelle Ernsdorff, the founder and CEO of Compass to Care, this financial support will help provide travel and accommodation expenses families incur when traveling to proton treatment centers for their child stricken with cancer.
"Proton therapy is the most precise form of external beam radiation treatment available today," said Dr. Torunn Yock, Chief of Pediatric Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. "It destroys any primary residual tumor, while minimizing the harmful effects on surrounding healthy tissue and organs. It is a highly preferred radiation treatment modality option for many pediatric cases because children are more susceptible to injury from radiation therapy as their tissues and organs are still growing and developing. Proton radiotherapy cuts down the dose to normal tissues by a factor of 2-3x that which is delivered by standard non-proton radiotherapy. As a result, we are seeing fewer side effects from treatment in our pediatric patients."
Proton therapy treatment can take up to eight weeks, depending upon the location of the tumor. With only 9 operating centers in the United States, most children referred for proton therapy must travel to receive it. Travel costs incurred to seek proton therapy treatment may include flights, lodging, meals, gasoline, car rental and/or taxi fees. In addition, most parents end up taking a leave from work, often unpaid, to stay with their child at the medical center during the treatment.
"The costs and loss of income can be financially devastating when traveling for a child's cancer care, but families will do whatever they must to help save their child's life," said Ernsdorff. "Our organization relies on donations such as the one provided by IBA to help ease some of the financial burdens families experience in these challenging situations."
"We are dedicated to protecting, enhancing and saving lives, and by standing behind the mission of Compass to Care, we are ensuring that children receive the best possible treatment with proton therapy, and are making a positive impact on the lives of these affected families," said Bill Hansen, IBA's Director of Marketing.
"We are extremely grateful for IBA's contribution to our foundation because we know what a difference this assistance makes in the lives of families as they pursue the long term health of their children," Ernsdorff continued.
For more information on how to support Compass to Care, visit www.compasstocare.org.
Founded in 1986 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, IBA is primarily active in the medical industry. It develops and markets state-of-the-art equipment and radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In addition, it uses the scientific expertise thus gained to provide electron accelerators for industrial sterilization and ionization. Listed on the pan- European stock exchange Euronext, IBA is included in the BEL Mid Index (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB). Website: http://www.iba-worldwide.com
ABOUT COMPASS TO CARE, THE MIKE & SANDY ERNSDORFF CHILDHOOD CANCER FOUNDATION
Compass to Care, The Mike & Sandy Ernsdorff Childhood Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to scheduling and paying for the travel arrangements families require to seek the best cancer care for their children. Website: http://www.compasstocare.org
CONTACT: Michelle M. Ernsdorff, +1-312-515-9490, info@CompassToCare.org
SOURCE Compass to Care Childhood Cancer Foundation