WEB REVIEW – Tyler is full of life after treatment in America

4-year-old Tyler Martin was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a year ago and had to fly to America for specialist treatment when it reached 1 mm away from his brain. After losing sight in one eye, he can now say he’s feeling better.

The NHS agreed to fly Tyler, his mom Tracey and his dad Steve out to Florida for the treatment. Despite undergoing gruelling chemotherapy and proton therapy for seven weeks, the family were still able to enjoy the trip, with visits to American football games and an alligator farm.

His family are waiting for an appointment to see their consultant but they hope everything is fine now. Tyler faces regular MRI scans to check on his progress, and although he lost the sight in his left eye, there is no nerve damage so the family is hopeful it may return.

His mom said: ‘He’s in school full time. He’s really enjoying it. ‘It all seems so surreal, it was only a year ago that he was diagnosed. It’s brilliant to see how well he’s coping, to finally have it finished is a big relief.’


WEB REVIEW – Proton therapy for head & neck cancer

More than 100,000 people will be diagnosed with head and neck cancer this year in the US, according to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. While many of those cancers are curable, patients face a number of challenges due to their complex location.

Physicians are tasked with preserving healthy surrounding structures such as the optic nerves, eyes, brain stem, and spinal cord while also treating a patient’s malignant tumor. Protons offer potential advantages in treating cancers of the head and neck by delivering high radiation doses to the cancer target while sparing sensitive structures. As a result, proton therapy may reduce the risk of side effects and late complications from radiation treatment, which can include neurologic complications such as blindness and hearing loss as well as effects such as xerostomia that impact one’s quality of life.

Proton therapy may also allow patients to better tolerate systemic therapies like chemotherapy when combined with radiation therapy. In patients with recurrences after previous radiation therapy, proton therapy may allow further treatment to be done while minimizing the risks.

“I was first introduced to proton therapy by my doctors,” said Keith Deaver, who underwent treatment in 2013 for his rare sinus cancer. “With its minimal side effects, proton therapy was the best fit for treating my tumor. While no one ever wants to get cancer, it’s nice to know there are options out there that not only fight the tumor but preserve your quality of life.”


Early Evidence Suggests Proton Therapy Offers Safe, Long-Term Treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma

Despite some success in treating patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, many patients suffer from late effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatment, including the possible onset of breast cancer or heart disease.   A study by the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute shows that the use of proton therapy following chemotherapy in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma has a success rate similar to the conventional treatments with a reduction of radiation outside of the target area, or “involved-node”, potentially reducing the risk of late effects caused by radiation.

The phase II study published in the online edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, “Involved-Node Proton Therapy in Combined-Modality Therapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma,” continues to add to the mounting evidence supporting the use of proton radiation therapy for positive long-term treatment outcomes. Several retrospective dosimetry studies, measuring the radiation dose in tissue resulting from exposure to direct and/or indirect radiation, have reported the advantages of proton therapy in Hodgkin lymphoma as a way of reducing the radiation dose to the organs at risk, such as the heart, breast and lungs. However, this study is the first of its kind to track the results of proton therapy treatment on patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.

The study tracked 15 patients between September 2009 and June 2013 with newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma as they received involved-node proton therapy (INPT), which specifically targets initially involved lymph node(s) containing the Hodgkin lymphoma, after completing chemotherapy. Further, the study evaluated the radiation dose in the surrounding healthy tissue as a result of proton therapy compared with conventional treatments, called intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT).

The data shows a three-year relapse-free rate of 93 percent and a three-year event-free rate of 87 percent. In addition, no patients developed grade three or higher toxicity during follow-up.

“All 15 patients derived benefits from using proton therapy. The results show that the use of protons, as opposed to similar conventional photon therapy, reduced the risk of long-term side effects by reducing or eliminating radiation doses to healthy tissue without compromising the cure rate,” said lead researcher Bradford S. Hoppe, M.D., radiation oncologist at the UF Proton Therapy Institute and assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine department of radiation oncology.

“Three years after the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines endorsed the use of proton therapy, this study reinforces proton therapy as a safe alternative to the more conventional forms of radiation,” Hoppe said.


WEB REVIEW – Family stage show for girl battling rare cancer

The family and friends of three-year-old Sienna Riley are putting on a concert to raise money to get her vital treatment and help her fight a rare form of cancer.


At only 20 months old, Sienna was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks nerve cells. The survival rate in children less than a year old with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer ranges between 50% to 80%, which drastically decreases in children aged one or over.


Detox treatment available in Germany could help manage her symptoms, but the costs, which would include flying from the family home in Essex, could reach up to £25,000. Additional antibody and proton therapy on offer in the US could cost up to £500,000.


So far, family, friends and supporters have managed to make just short of £10,000. Sienna’s aunt started the campaign last year to give her niece as much of a chance as possible. Sienna’s relatives are now planning to hold a concert to pay for additional care abroad. The Sienna Showcase in May, will feature songs and routines from films and musicals as well as comedy sketches and a charity raffle, performed by a variety of local entertainers.


To donate to the Sienna Riley appeal, visit gofundme.com/3j2cg4.


Source : http://www.nottinghampost.com/Family-stage-girl-battling-rare-form-cancer/story-20959882-detail/story.html#ixzz2zFtbIBuJ

New Jersey man cancelled prostate surgery, opted for 9-week proton beam treatments

The two-month recovery from surprise gallbladder surgery was no picnic for Jim Rauner. No picnic at all. And he was due for a second major procedure: robotic surgery to remove his prostate.

“I cancelled it,” said the 65-year-old former stationery store owner from Boonton, New Jersey. The prospect of another long, painful recovery was just too much for him. “I decided somewhere during that period of time that I was going to start investigating some other treatment options,” he added.

Up until then, Jim had zero awareness of proton therapy. “On the Internet, I never saw anything about proton therapy at the time,” he recalled. “I didn’t stumble upon it.” And none of the physicians with whom Jim spoke ever broached it.

“Everybody tells you the same thing,” said Jim. “The basics are the basics about what cancer treatment options are available and about the side effects after treatment. Incontinence and impotence. That’s it.“If you’re between 60 and 70, you have three choices,” Jim continued. “You can remove the cancer. You can have radiation treatments. Or you can watch it. And I eliminated the ‘watch it’ because I am not that kind of person.”

One morning while listening to WABC radio during his recovery after gallbladder surgery,  Jim heard a local advertisement on the “Imus in the Morning” program. It was an ad about the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in nearby Somerset, New Jersey. “Just a 22-minute drive from here,” Jim remarked, adding a common New York City metro area qualifier, “without traffic.”

The radiation oncologist there spent about an hour and a half talking with Jim. Recovery from proton treatments would probably not be as painful as recovery from surgery. And side effects such as impotence and incontinence, while possible, were much less likely with protons.

After returning home, Jim went to the Internet and googled “proton therapy.” “I read the explanation of why protons worked better and oh, my God, it made sense,” he said. Jim ended his search for treatment options. He was going with protons.

Still, Jim acknowledged, “There’s anger. There’s fear. And you have this unknown factor in your life that you didn’t expect. You have cancer.”

Considering his difficult recovery after the gallbladder operation, Jim was surprised at how normal he felt after receiving his first dose of protons in February 2013. “I didn’t have any problems,” he said.
And for a time, Jim continued his part-time retail job. But about midway through his nine weeks of proton treatments, fatigue set in and he had to stop working.

“I’d come home after my treatment, walk the dog and then the dog and I would take a long nap,” said Jim. “The fatigue was the biggest side effect. I didn’t think I could sleep as much as I did. It took a good nine months before I felt like my old self. ”

Jim’s lingering fatigue, doctors at ProCure noted, occurs infrequently among proton patients. Other side effects like impotence and incontinence, so common among prostate patients who’ve had surgery or photon radiation, didn’t happen to Jim.

“The getting over the fatigue took longer than I expected,” Jim said. “But every day, I felt progressively better. And I never doubted the effectiveness of the treatment. I knew I would come out of it with no cancer.” Prior to beginning proton therapy, Jim’s PSA had climbed steadily to 4 over a five-year period. Today, it is 0.8.

WEB REVIEW – Brave Chloe starts her treatment in the US

Seven-year-old Chloe Moss has started specialized treatment in the US after a tumor the size of half a house brick was removed from her brain.

 Chloe was just three when she had the tumor removed. She then had 15 months of intensive chemotherapy but doctors found two smaller tumors in August. Chloe’s dad said: “The news that Chloe had to have the proton therapy treatment came as a complete shock. The doctors told us it would give Chloe a much better chance of beating the cancer and she needed it as soon as possible. ”

Chloe flew to Florida earlier this month to receive £300k proton therapy treatment, which is not yet available in the UK. The treatment is being paid for by the NHS, but a campaign has been launched to raise £10,000 to cover the family’s living costs during their 3-month stay.

Charity Cauldwell Children is backing the fundraising campaign. The charity’s chief executive said: “This is an immensely stressful time for Chloe’s family and any help we can give to make their time as comfortable as possible is surely worthwhile.”


“Everyone has been so supportive during Chloe’s battle”, her dad said. “The only way we can repay them is doing everything possible to make sure she is okay.”


You can donate online at www.justgiving.com/givechloeachance.


Source : http://www.pontefractandcastlefordexpress.co.uk/news/local-news/brave-chloe-starts-her-treatment-in-us-1-6255965

WEB REVIEW – U.K. girl with cancer seeks treatment in the US

A family from England traveled more than 4,500 miles to Oklahoma City to get proton therapy treatment and save their 2-year-old daughter from a growing tumor.


Bethany Barsby is fighting a rare form of cancer that developed in her muscle cheek called rhabdomyosarcoma. Only 350 cases are discovered in the United States every year and that number is even smaller in the U.K.

“We thought what the hospital thought : that it was a cyst,” said Bethany’s mom. “Then for the news to come back that it was an actual tumor, your world just come crashing down.”

Bethany has already had two surgeries and six months of intensive chemotherapy.




Dr. Michael Confer, Radiation Oncologist said : “She needed something else : either a major operation that would be quite deforming, but we don’t do that to kids, or radio therapy.”

Going under the knife could result in Bethany losing half of her face. Her family turned to the Procure Proton Therapy Center for a specialized form of radiation instead.  The fight is not over for Bethany, but her dad knows his little girl will make it through.



WEB REVIEW – Brain cancer survivor becomes baking entrepreneur

Rebecca Ray, a Jacksonville teenager, used her love of baking to get through her battle against brain cancer. From a simple distraction, it turned into a sweet and savory new business.

After Rebecca was diagnosed with cancer, she found her sanctuary in the kitchen. Her cake-baking began during her time at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. After 15 weeks of chemotherapy, numerous rounds of proton therapy and surgeries, she perfected her recipes and the skills she would need to become a cupcake connoisseur.

« This just gave her an outlet and it was good therapy for her, » said Becca’s mom, Sondra Ray. « You know, anytime she could do anything that would challenge her fine motor skills was a benefit for her and we had fun sitting there playing ».

Becca Ray is now in remission and still has regular checkups and scans every six months to make sure her cancer is in check. She is the CEO of her own company, Becca Bakes Cakes. The entrepreneur has been stirring up success with the company for more than a year now.



WEB REVIEW – 15-year-old with inoperable brain tumor

Selfless staff at a Yeovil vets have taken to the streets in support of a teenager who needs medical treatment in the USA.


In January Saskia Hedingham, 15, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. After being diagnosed the teenager was told to name her tumor to help visualise and beat it. As a result, staff at Delaware Vets walked from Yeovil to Castle Cary on Sunday to “help Saskia beat Bart”.

Her proton therapy treatment, which is only available in America, will be mostly funded by the NHS. The youngster and her family are expected to jet out to the USA on Sunday.

However, the colleagues of Saskia’s grandmother were quick to show their support.




Office manager Sharon Webb said: “We had wind, rain and even hail on the day but we got there in five hours and 20 minutes. Our pain was a stroll in the park compared to what Saskia is going through.” Other supporters also completed a 40-mile cycle ride in aid of the cause.