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UNT professor testing ways to keep children cancer patients still, occupied during treatment

Manish Vaidya, an associate professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis, is testing how to keep young patients still during radiation without sedating them. 

As part of a $900,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, Vaidya is testing a project called PROMISE, which stands for Padiatric Radiation Oncology with Movie-Induced Sedation Effect. 

Basically, watching a cartoon on the ceiling is turned into a game. If the child moves too much, the cartoon pauses. If they keep moving instead of going back to the required position, the cartoon turns off. Vaidya and researchers are currently testing the program on healthy children at a laboratory on the UNT campus. 

Behavior modification instead of sedation would make radiation treatments go quicker since they won't need the time to be induced or recover from sedatives. The project is in conjunction with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a pediatric psychologist at UT Southwestern.