WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 30

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients from all over the world in their fight against cancer.

COPING WELL WITH PROTON THERAPY

Ceri Jones, a 21-year-old from North Wales who had an eye removed and her face rebuilt after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, is coping well with pioneering proton therapy in Jacksonville, Florida.

Ceri was diagnosed after she went to the dentist thinking she had an abscess, which turned out to be adenoid cystic carcinoma, a type of cancer that affects the salivary glands of the head and neck. As the cancer was already in an advanced stage, she spent 36 hours on the operating table and had her left eye removed along with the tumor. Her upper left jaw and upper left facial bones were also replaced with titanium metal and her face was reconstructed. As Ceri can’t have standard radiotherapy in the UK because it could break down her bone structure and cause major problems to her face and mouth in the future, the NHS funded flights and accommodation in America in the hope that the 11-week proton treatment will kill off the remaining residual cancer cells and stop the disease from returning. The brave young woman has already undergone 19 of her 39 specialized proton sessions since flying out in the USA last June. “The proton radiotherapy is going really well, my face is quite red on the left hand side but it’s part and parcel of the treatment,” she said. “A small machine zaps lasers into the three areas where the cancer cells are. Each session lasts around 30 minutes. It doesn’t hurt.” Her last treatment will take place on August 23 and she will fly home to North Wales on August 25. After that, she will have regular scans for the next 5 to 10 years to make sure the cancer doesn’t return. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ceri cover bills, food and travel expenses while in America.

Source: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/woman-who-lost-eye-face-13396191

 

DONATING TIPS FOR CANCER CARE

The Roxy Encinitas restaurant, which has been in downtown Encinitas, California since 1978, marked its grand reopening with a benefit event to raise money for children with cancer.

The Roxy’s wait staff and musicians donated their tips for the evening to the Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and The Seany Foundation, a program for children with cancer, and donations from guests were received at the door. A silent auction was also held. Encinitas resident and Roxy owner Paula Vrakas wanted to give back to the community and support cancer care. Her father, Dan Vrakas, was successfully treated for prostate cancer at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center. The restaurant at 517 South Coast Highway, has been remodeled in the jazz and art deco style of the 1920s.

Source: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-commnews-brief-roxy-20170728-story.html

10-YEAR-OLD IN REMISSION AFTER PT

Alex Goodwin, a 10-year-old boy from England who has spent the last 9 months receiving treatments in America in a bid to cure his advanced bone cancer, is finally healthy and will be heading home in less than a month.

Alex’s issues began around Christmas 2015 when he started struggling to walk. By April of the following year, he was forced to use crutches as he lost the strength in his right leg. Even still, he was repeatedly misdiagnosed and dismissed by hospitals.  In June 2016, tests revealed he had an aggressive form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, and doctors told his parents he would probably only have a few months to live. His only chance at life was an incredibly complicated operation to remove his cancer-infected thigh bone – and due to the advanced stage of his disease, it could only be done in America. In January he was able to have the surgery in Kansas City, followed by months worth of proton-beam radiation. Surgeons have now replaced Alex’s right hip, thigh bone, and knee with mechanical ones. Earlier this month, he had a telescopic prosthetic femur put in, which can be electro-magnetized to lengthen as his body grows.  His family expects to fly home on August 20, though he’ll be back in America roughly every three months for tests and to get the leg lengthened as he grows.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4740072/British-cancer-boy-heading-home-treatment-US.html

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 29

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is giving hope and offering new options to cancer patients from all around the world.

CROWDFUNDING FOR ALISON

Alison, a 38-year-old a teacher, wife, sister, daughter, friend and mom of 2 children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2013 when her first born was just 18 months old.

When she was diagnosed, Alison had to stop teaching to have an operation to remove the tumor and started chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Treatment went well with no signs of spread of the disease. However the cancer was a rare aggressive type called TNBC or triple negative breast cancer, and in 2015, just a week after her 2nd child was born, she found out the cancer had spread to lymph nodes below her collar bone and down her chest wall. Now stage 4, Alison was told she could have just months left to live, and she immediately started further treatment, juggling chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a new baby and a very active 4 year old. Cruelly, the cancer spread to her lungs and under her armpit. The NHS have now offered a further course of chemotherapy which cannot cure her but will hopefully give her a little more time with family and friends.  After their own research, Alison and her family found potentially lifesaving targeted treatment available in Germany. Alison has been accepted as a good candidate for the treatment, which is unfortunately not available on the NHS and is so expensive that her family and friends are trying to raise money to pay for it themselves. If you want to try and help raise as much money as possible towards Alison’s treatment, feel free to visit her JustGiving page.

Source: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michelle-hunter-1

 

CANCER SUFFERER ESCORTED TO PROM BY 80 BIKERS

Emilia Harding, a 16-year-old from the UK suffering from synovial sarcoma, has been taken to her school prom in style by around 80 bikers from The Laughing Lunatics Bikers group and other bikers from across the valleys. 

Emilia was diagnosed with cancer on New Year’s Eve after a lump was discovered on her thigh. After undergoing treatment and having the tumor on her leg removed, Emilia’s mom Katie said she wanted her daughter to have an unforgettable prom. The 35-year-old said the year has been extremely difficult for the family but making Emilia smile was the main priority: “She has been through so much, we all have. It has been the worst year in my life by far. It was complete shock as it’s quite rare for teenagers to get synovial sarcoma, it is mainly adults who get it. I wanted to do something for Emilia’s prom so I put a request on the Laughing Lunatics Bikers group to come to her prom and they said yes. At first, Emilia was slightly embarrassed, at 16-years-old you know you’re bound to be. But on the night from the point she left the house she didn’t stop smiling.” The bikers escorted Emilia and her friends to their Blackwood Comprehensive School prom in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. Emilia’s mom said that the doctors believe the cancer is gone but she is now waiting to undergo proton therapy for the next month. The 16-year-old will go on to attend Crosskeys College in September.

Source: http://www.campaignseries.co.uk/news/campaign_news/15419866.Cancer_sufferer_escorted_to_prom_by_80_bikers/

 

LONG-AWAITED PT NOW AVAILABLE IN ST. LOUIS

Steven Osborne, a 33-year-old father-of-four suffering from a brain tumor, was the first patient to start proton treatment in St. Louis last week. He will spend 30 to 45 minutes in the proton machine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital every day for the next 7 weeks.

After decades of planning and years of delays, proton radiation was delivered last Thursday to the first patient in St. Louis. Dr. Jeffrey Bradley, director of the Barnes’ Kling Center for Proton Therapy, said the new proton machine could be appropriate for about 10% of patients receiving radiation treatments at the hospital, mostly for cancer of the head, neck and spine. Steven is a good candidate for proton therapy because his tumor called chondrosarcoma is located behind his eye at the base of his skull, and traditional X-ray radiation could cause more damage to surrounding brain tissue, putting his eyesight at risk. Moreover, chondrosarcomas at the base of the skull like his have relatively long track records with the therapy. Children with cancer are also good candidates for protons because they are particularly susceptible to the potential side effects of radiation, including learning disabilities, hearing loss, stunted growth and secondary cancers.

Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/long-awaited-proton-therapy-for-cancer-now-available-in-st/article_8ed9a728-af5d-5297-8e4c-6906dc84a85f.html

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 28

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is offering new options for patients with complex cases of cancer. 

1st PATIENT TREATED AT MICHIGAN’S PT CENTER

Bill Baker, 86, was the first patient to be treated at Beaumont’s Proton Therapy Center for brain cancer after he heard the Oakland County Executive address the new technology in his State of the County speech. 

Bill said: “I turned to my wife and said ‘Hey, you know that treatment sounds like just exactly what I need’. I said ‘I don’t know about taking medical advice from a politician,’ but I did some research on it and found out a lot more about proton beam therapy.” Baker had brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2009, but only 85% of the tumor was removed because the remaining 15% was entwined around a major blood vessel. According to the chairman of radiation oncology at Beaumont, Bill typically would have “gotten more X-rays, but that would’ve irradiated more of his brain. And the more normal brain you irradiate, the more potential there are for late brain toxicities,” he added. Beaumont’s new $40-million, 25,000-square-foot facility houses the first proton therapy center in Michigan and the 25th in the U.S. Proton therapy is an alternative to X-ray radiation that uses pencil beam scanning to kill cancer cells without affecting adjacent health tissue. Treatment times depend on the case, but for Bill, each session took 15 to 20 minutes in a roughly six-to-eight week time frame. “My wife and I have been treated like royalty here,” Baker said. “It’s a great honor for me to be accepted as number one.”

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/07/proton_therapy_center.html

 

ALL CLEAR AFTER PT IN PRAGUE

Eric Day, a 79-year-old cancer patient from the UK who was offered end of life care by the NHS after his brain tumor was deemed “inoperable”, has now been given the all clear thanks to proton therapy.

Eric, a former dentist, first developed colorectal cancer in 2012 and, at the time, was treated successfully with surgery and chemotherapy. In August last year however, he received the devastating news that he had developed a secondary tumor in his brain. Neither surgery, chemotherapy nor traditional radiotherapy were realistic options for treatment considering the severe risk of damage to nearby vital tissue. The only choice left available to him in Britain was palliative treatment to relieve his constant pain. After refusing to accept the prognosis and researching alternative therapies, his oncologist agreed to refer him to the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic, in December last year. Following the treatment, Eric says he’s “ecstatic” to have been given the all clear. He said: “It’s four months since I took so much as a single Paracetamol tablet. I am pain free, eating properly again and have regained the lost weight. My ability to do things has returned to normal. My last PET scan shows that the tumor has disappeared and there is no spread anywhere else. Needless to say, my wife and I are ecstatic.”

Source: http://www.andoveradvertiser.co.uk/news/15396799.Proton_beam_patient_in_full_recovery/

 

FUNDRAISER FOR DAD-OF-FIVE 

Andrew Davis, a 40-year-old father-of-five, is raising money with his family to get proton therapy abroad after NHS doctors told them nothing more could be done, as the specialist treatment is not set to be offered in the UK until late 2018.

Andrew, 40, a former market trader, was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils after months of suffering from sore throats in October 2015. After a session of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of radiotherapy, he was given the all clear in 2016. But earlier this year Andrew became unwell and after many tests and scans, it was revealed he had liver cancer. His family, including two sons, 18, 16, and three daughters, 15, 12 and ten, were told the devastating news the cancer was incurable. NHS doctors told Andrew he has between six months and a year to live, and that nothing more could be offered in their country. Andrew and his wife Elizabeth, from Bolton, are thus looking into proton beam therapy, which is not set to be offered at The Christie in Manchester until late 2018. Elizabeth, 37, from Farnworth, said: “It’s really frustrating that it could be an option, but just not in time for Andrew. Having to tell your children their dad is going to die is horrendous We are a big and close family so we are pulling together but some days we are up, some days we are down. But we decided to look at other treatment, some in Germany and some in London. We just want to do everything we can to give him the best chance of life.” The family is hoping to raise £20,000 to pay for treatment.

Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/having-tell-your-children-dad-13300404

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 27

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients from all over the world in their fight against cancer.

ON THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS AFTER PT

Kieran Taylor, a 7-year-old youngster from Deeping St Nicholas in England is having life-changing proton therapy in the USA to treat a rare brain tumor called craniopharyngioma, which causes eyesight problems, behavioural changes and slow growth.

Kieran is having proton therapy to destroy cancerous cells in his brain, which are close to a vital blood vessel. He already underwent surgery last May but doctors were only able to remove 95% of the tumor. “Apparently, they didn’t get the whole of the tumor out and it’s touching the main blood vessel in his brain,” his mom said. “Proton therapy will stop the tumor from spreading so that there won’t be any more adverse effects on his sight or blood vessel.” Kieran is now in his second week of proton treatments. The youngster, along with sister, mother and father flew out to the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. It was only made possible by a fundraising appeal that raised well over £10,000 for the family’s medical trip. Kieran’s mom said: “Things have been great and we’re absolutely ecstatic that everybody has been so wonderful to us in getting everything sorted out. Treatments started on Wednesday, June 21, and Kieran has treatment for half an hour a day, Monday to Friday, for 30 days. He’s taking everything in his stride and doesn’t seem to be bothered about anything, except that he has to work on keeping his head still for the treatment.” The family are staying in an accommodation run by the non-profit organization Ronald McDonald House Charity. Kieran’s mom said: “It’s made our lives so much easier so we can concentrate on Kieran without having any worries.”

Source: http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/deeping-st-nicholas-youngster-on-road-to-happiness-after-treatment-1-8038075

 

LOCAL GIRL CONTINUES CANCER RECOVERY

Savannah Marlow, a 5-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a form of cancer called medulloblastoma last year, continues to fight. If she clears each MRI in the next 5 years, she will be 10 years old when she is essentially cured.

The family first noticed something was wrong back in October 2015, when Savannah was losing her balance, having headaches and falling down more often.  Savannah was taken to a specialist, and a tumor 4 cm in diameter was discovered on the back of her brain in the cerebellum. She went into surgery the next day to remove the tumor. After the surgery, she underwent proton therapy in Boston for several weeks, and upon returning to Middle Tennessee, she underwent chemotherapy treatment through April. “Her outlook from here out is positive,” said Savannah’s father. “We go to have a cerebrospinal MRI once every three months for the next five years. If she remains clear each time, after five years, she’s basically cured. That’s what we’re believing and looking forward to. Until then, it’s a daily trusting walk of faith.” According to her family, Savannah’s schedule was packed lately: they recently returned from a 26-days Make-A-Wish Foundation trip overseas, Savannah continues in therapy, and July 28, she will turn 6 years old. “Savannah continues to go to therapy, and she is slowly, slowly improving in speech and coordination,” her dad said. The family remains inspired by the support from the community and the generosity of others. For more information about Savannah’s journey, visit facebook.com/savannahsfaith.

Source: http://www.lebanondemocrat.com/Community/2017/07/03/Local-girl-continues-cancer-recovery

 

PROTON THERAPY AVAILABLE IN THE UK

The UK’s first proton therapy machine will soon be up and running at The Christie Hospital, meaning sick children will get access to urgent treatment without having to travel to the USA.

Soon, families in Greater Manchester won’t have to travel thousands of miles to give their little ones a fighting chance, as the UK’s first proton therapy machine will soon be up and running at The Christie Hospital. The unit, which weighs 90-tonnes, was lowered into place this week. It is the first of its kind in the UK and will be used to treat patients of all ages. It delivers a specialist form of radiotherapy which has been offered to NHS patients overseas in the US and Switzerland. Its arrival at the Withington cancer research center means that from August 2018, NHS patients will receive treatment in the UK for the first time. Youngsters Lucy Thomas and Emma Payton, who received proton treatments overseas and are in recovery, were invited to The Christie to start work to move the cyclotron into position. Their families shared their courageous stories after they were forced to ‘uproot their lives’, and told how the new piece of kit could have helped them in their desperate time of need. Lucy, from Ramsbottom, was just 6 when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, and after numerous gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, doctors told her proton therapy was needed, which was only offered thousands of miles away in Oklahoma in the US at the time. Emma Payton, who was just 8 when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in her cheek, also spent weeks with her family in Oklahoma as she received proton therapy. Her dad Phil said having the same treatment on offer at The Christie was ‘amazing’: “It’s a difficult time. You are already dealing with the fact that your child has cancer, and to have anything that alleviates those worries, is amazing. This is amazing.”

Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/children-travel-overseas-urgent-cancer-13231131

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 26

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients from all over the world in their fight against cancer. 

BRAVE GIRL RECEIVING CANCER TREATMENT IN USA

Emily Mather, a brave 4-year-old girl from Barrow in the UK battling a rare brain tumor, is currently in America for lifesaving proton therapy treatment to give her the best chance of recovery.

Emily is in Jacksonville, Florida, for life-saving proton beam cancer therapy which is not available in the UK until next year. The courageous youngster has been fighting ependymoma since January. She has already had chemotherapy and two delicate operations, which reduced the size of the tumor enough for her to be able to go to the US for treatment. The little fighter, her mom, dad and sister arrived in the States at the start of last week. Emily is set to have 12 weeks of treatment in the US and the family are praying for it to be successful. “Everyone is hopeful, we know there is a long way to go, but this is the best thing for Emily, our prayers were answered with her being able to go to America,” her parents said. “She is amazing and brave. You can’t believe a 4-year-old is teaching adults so much about living and enjoying life.” A bring and buy sale took place last Friday to support her family’s expenses during treatment.

Source: http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/barrow/Bring-and-buy-sale-for-brave-Emily-0a87d253-1e6a-4883-b515-48082e425118-ds

 

HEAD AND NECK CANCER CURED WITH PT

Sylvia White, 58, was hit with the devastating news she had a tumor behind her nose in 2014. Head and neck cancers include cancers of the nose, mouth and throat and there are more than 10,000 cases diagnosed in the UK every year.

Back in 2014, Sylvia started having problems with her nose and her hearing, and had some swollen glands on her neck, but for the most part her symptoms were fairly minor and not that obvious. A biopsy finally showed she had a tumor 25mm wide at the back of her nose, very close to the brain and the eyes. A second biopsy showed Sylvia had nasopharyngeal cancer, an area particularly hard to reach surgically. To kill the cancer cells, the mom-of-one underwent 7 weeks of gruelling chemotherapy and image guided radiotherapy in April 2014. She was initially given the all-clear but tests in August last year showed the cancer had returned. On the advice of her doctors, Sylvia travelled to Prague in the Czech Republic for 9 weeks of proton therapy treatment, covered by her private health insurance. “We were given the option of having something with fewer side effects but effectively with the same outcome – she was going to be treated for a cure,” her husband said. “That’s why we chose proton beam therapy, even though at the time it meant 9 weeks away from friends and family.” Sylvia had 35 fractions from November until the first week of January. “I didn’t lose hair, I didn’t lose any weight. I could eat anything I wanted, all the time. In the UK I could hardly walk while I was having treatment. In Prague it wasn’t like that at all.” Sylvia’s latest tests have shown the cancer has disappeared. She now faces tests every four to six weeks for the next two years to monitor her progress.

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/820486/head-neck-cancer-symptoms-signs-proton-beam-therapy-cure

 

FAMILY’S FUNDS PLEA TO TREAT BRAVE AARON

Aaron McMahon is a typical 16-year-old in many ways, but the teenager from East Cork in Ireland is undergoing treatment for a rare and aggressive type of tumor in his head.

When Aaron started complaining of frequent headaches a few years ago, he was initially diagnosed with vertigo and thyroid Osgood-Schlatter disease. As his headaches were getting worse, he was scheduled for an MRI, which revealed a pituitary-type tumor in his brain. A week later, he headed to Dublin for surgery.  His parents could do nothing but wait from 8.45am to 5.30pm. “We knew the surgery was extremely risky because of where the tumor was,” his dad recalls. “His surgeon told us he was very lucky not to have suffered a stroke undergoing such a big operation. He said he got 80% of the tumor, which was more than he had expected to get.” A week later, it was confirmed that Aaron had a very rare type of aggressive cancer called chordoma. As there was no further treatment in Ireland for chordoma, Aaron was referred to a therapy clinic in Essen, Germany, where he is currently receiving pioneering proton therapy. Along with his parents, he has re-located to Essen for two months in the hope the remaining 20% of the tumor can be erased. His parents set up a gofundmepage called “Aaron’s Hope” to help them cover the costs of treatment and living abroad, and the response has been phenomenal. After the two months of radiation is carried out, Aaron will have to return after three months to see if it worked. He will have constant scans and visits to Germany for the rest of his life so fundraising is vital. The McMahon family also intend to bring their son to the Chordoma Foundation in the United States in 2018.

Source: http://www.eveningecho.ie/life/Familys-funds-plea-to-treat-brave-Aaron-c2c5394a-19b2-4302-a09c-444c83267220-ds