WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 34

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

LITTLE FIGHTER NEEDS SUPPORT

Chereez Nel, a 3-year-old girl from Boksburg in South Africa who suffers from stage 3 undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma, needs help to benefit from specialist proton therapy treatment in the USA. 

Chereez was diagnosed with cancer after her parents noticed a slight swelling in her cheek. After seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist, the Nel family’s life was turned upside down, as Chereez was diagnosed with an aggressive cancerous tumor next to her brain, spreading from her head to her face. After several MRIs, bone marrow and CT scans, it was planned for Chereez to undergo surgery and chemotherapy, but the treatment plan changed after it was discovered the cancer had penetrated the skull. “Doctors decided not to go through with surgery as they would not be able to entirely remove the tumor due to the involvement of the skull base. The decision was then made to continue chemo and start radiation,” her parents said. Chereez could receive either IMRT or proton therapy, but protons would better spare healthy tissue surrounding the tumor, limit the side effects, and reduce the need of post treatment reconstructive surgery. “Proton therapy, unfortunately, is only available in the USA with costs running into the millions. This excludes any accommodation, living and travel expenses or more chemotherapy that might be needed when in the USA,” Chereez’s mom said. Luckily, the community has come together to help Chereez and her family where possible and a non-profitable fund has also been set up. “We believe that our daughter will fight this cancer with all she has and we believe she will be healed,” said her mom.

Source: https://boksburgadvertiser.co.za/321708/little-fighter-from-boskburg/

 

CANCER SURVIVOR HONORED BY SOCCER CLUB

The New England Revolution, an American professional soccer club, honored Cooper Martin, an young Acton native who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in December 2016. 

Since being diagnosed, Cooper has undergone surgery, proton radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which concluded in early 2018. Now entering the second grade, Cooper looks forward to getting back to playing soccer this September. Cooper was honored during the Revs’ “Kelyn’s NEGU Crew” program during the Aug. 11 game against the Philadelphia Union with a post-game walk around the field alongside Kelyn Rowe as he thanked the fans.  Kelyn’s NEGU Crew” is a program that gives young cancer patients associated with the Jessie Rees Foundation a gameday experience. This initiative was spearheaded by Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe, a longtime supporter of the Jessie Rees Foundation. The acronym NEGU stands for “Never Ever Give Up”.

Source: http://acton.wickedlocal.com/news/20180820/strongacton-cancer-survivor-honored-by-new-england-revolutionstrong

 

MAN CLEAR OF CANCER AFTER PT

Nigel Bell, a retired businessman from Plymouth in the UK, has been given the all clear after he took matters into his own hands and travelled to Prague to get £30,000 specialist proton therapy treatment for his prostate cancer.

Nigel, a 74-year-old grandad-of-two, was diagnosed with prostate cancer eight years ago. He was initially monitored by doctors to see how the cancer developed, but things took a turn and two years ago it became clear it was time to take action. Doctors told Nigel he would need traditional radiotherapy. “They told me that I had an 80% chance of success with radiotherapy, but a 20% chance of either failure or complications. I’m not a gambling man, so I decided to look at other options,” Nigel said. Traditional radiotherapy can carry a risk of erectile dysfunction and incontinence, whereas proton therapy is able to spare surrounding tissue, meaning fewer side effects, but the treatment is not yet available in the UK on the NHS. Nigel had an initial consultation with the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic, who agreed they could treat his case. He said: “I found everything over there to be really easy. Having accepted I was suitable they confirmed the price, around £30,000. It was a lot of money but it was far cheaper than the US or what they are offering at the new private proton therapy center in South Wales.” Nigel spent 5 weeks in Prague having 21 fractions of treatment, and his PSA level is now down to 0.25. He said: “As far as the doctors are concerned they have cleared the cancer. My prostate cancer has been eradicated with little or no side effects, just a little soreness for a few weeks.”

Source: https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/health/plymouth-mans-cancer-gone-after-1895170

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 33

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping cancer patients from all over the world overcome life-threatening challenges.  

4-YEAR-OLD HEADING TO GERMANY FOR PT

Amelia Elphee, a 4-year-old girl from the UK who is fighting against a rare brain tumor, is set to fly abroad for state-of-the-art cancer treatment.

Last June, Amelia was diagnosed with a neuroepithelial brain tumor, one of only 30 known cases in Europe, following the sudden onset of seizures. Her mom Vicky, said: “When Amelia first suffered a seizure, I thought she may have simply overheated, or that she might have epilepsy.” When she was taken to the hospital, she began having another seizure in front of the paediatrician, and an MRI scan of her brain revealed the root of the problem. “Never once did I think I’d be told she had cancer. To hear those words left me dumbstruck, numb. I just couldn’t take it in,” Vicky recalls. On June 27th, just one week after she began displaying symptoms, Amelia underwent a 7-hour craniotomy surgery to successfully remove the whole 2-cm growth in the upper part of her brain. Two days later she was back at home making a promising recovery. Now, in the week of her fifth birthday, she is set to spend 6 weeks in Essen, Germany to have proton beam therapy. While treatment is funded by the NHS, the cost of living there is not, so Vicky set up a crowdfunding platform in order to raise the necessary money to continue the fight. “Amelia has been an inspiration throughout her treatment. She’s been so strong. And we’re optimistic of a successful outcome following proton beam therapy,” she said. To donate to Amelia’s plight: https:// www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ameliaelphee

Source: https://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/girl-four-rare-brain-tumour-15042531

 

FIRST MAN TREATED WITH PT IN THE UK

Simon Hardacre, a 56-year-old dad from Wales, has become the first cancer patient to be treated with proton therapy in the UK. He is the first of many to undergo this pioneering and more targeted form of radiotherapy in the UK.

A year ago, Simon went to see his GP when he began feeling run down and stressed. “While I was there the GP asked me if I’d ever had my prostate checked, to which I said no,” he recalls. “The examination revealed that there was a small lump, so my doctor made an appointment for me to go to the hospital for a second opinion.” Further testing then confirmed that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. The diagnosis came six years after he’d been struck down with neck and throat cancer. “The treatment for my previous cancer was a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which was gruelling and made me extremely ill.” On the NHS, Simon was given the option of either having robotic surgery or radiotherapy for his prostate cancer, with high risk of incontinence and impotence. After doing some research online, he stumbled across proton therapy, which was available just over the bridge in Wales. Simon received proton therapy treatment at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport in April. It is currently the only clinic in the UK where the groundbreaking treatment is available. “It’s brilliant that we now have a world-class facility here in the UK where patients like myself can be treated. This was a game-changer for my own cancer treatment, and I’m sure that this will transform the outlook for many other patients up and down the country.”

Source:  https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/we-new-era-cancer-care-14890295

 

HEAD & NECK CANCER SURVIVOR

Here is the story of Ed Malewitz, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma at the base of his skull and was successfully treated with surgery and proton therapy. 

At the beginning of 2013, Ed Malewitz from Houston, began experiencing frequent nosebleeds and nasal congestion. By 2015, he was undergoing testing to find the cause of those nosebleeds, and the ENT (ear, nose and throat) physician referred him to a rhinology specialist. It was decided to perform surgery to obtain a biopsy. During the 6-hour surgery, the rhinologist discovered and removed an egg-sized tumor in Ed’s nasal cavity. The tumor was an adenoid cystic carcinoma, located near his optic nerve on the right side of his sinus cavity at the base of his skull. “Since it was very close to my optic nerve, they told me I might lose some of my vision from my right eye and maybe my left eye,” Ed recalled. To complete treatment and ensure that no cancerous cells remained, his physician highly recommended additional proton therapy treatment. Ed completed a total of 33 treatments over a 6-week period at the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. With proton therapy, doctors were able to precisely target the cancer cells in Ed’s nasal cavity while sparing his eyes and brain. The side effects were minimal allowing him to go to work every day. Now, Ed is back to doing what he loves — astronomy and photography. “I came through it without damage, without scarring. I came through it with my vision intact.”

Source: http://www.protonpals.org/2018/07/18/head-and-neck-cancer-survivor-ed-malewitz/