Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is offering new horizons to patients diagnosed with cancer.
PROTON THERAPY FOR RECURRENT THYMOMA
As a 17-year member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chris Cox is no stranger to challenges. In late 2005, his physician called him for a new challenge: he had thymoma.
Thymoma is a very rare form of cancer that spreads locally in the chest rather than through the bloodstream. If treated early enough, there is a very low chance of recurrence. Chris’ case appeared to be typical and, following surgery, he received a clean bill of health. Until 11 years later, when doctors discovered the cancer had returned with a vengeance: it had spread within his pleural cavity. Although this surgery was far more complicated, Chris’ surgeons successfully removed all visible cancer. The concern then became the invisible, microscopic cancer that might still remain in his chest cavity, and the only remaining treatment available to him was radiation. He explored his options and discovered that targeted therapy meant less radiation to his heart and lungs. Chris, who lives in Orange County, decided to travel to San Diego to begin proton therapy at Scripps. He received treatments five days a week for seven weeks. “The experience was entirely painless,” he said. Now, Chris says he is feeling better day by day. Recently, he resumed his career as a partner at international law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius and president of the firm’s strategic consulting group.
PROTON THERAPY AFTER BRAIN TUMOR DIAGNOSIS
Lisa Hudson, a 50-year-old woman from Lichfield in the UK, travelled to Prague for specialist treatment after being diagnosed with a brain tumor called meningioma that threatened to leave her blind.
When Lisa noticed her eyesight was slowly deteriorating, she put it down to her age. But as the months went on Lisa’s eyesight began to rapidly decline and she went to the doctor. She was sent to the hospital they discovered a tumor behind her eye and pressing on her optic nerve. If left untreated it threatened to leave her blind. “It was frightening,” she said. “I had no other symptoms. I was one of the few people who could walk around with a brain tumour and not know anything about it.” Lisa was given her options by her oncologist: to leave the tumor and gradually see her eyesight fade until it disappeared altogether or to undergo radiotherapy. Lisa said: “I decided to try and save as much sight in my eye as possible. I was only 48 and the thought of losing the sight in my right eye was unimaginable.” She decided to go for proton therapy but her private medical insurance did not support her overseas, so she financed the cost from savings. Lisa and her husband travelled more than 900 miles to the Proton Therapy Center in the Czech Republic in September 2015. She spent 6 weeks having fractions of proton therapy 5 days a week. After six weeks Lisa returned home and had follow-up tests at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where they tested her vision. “The improvement was dramatic.” she said. Lisa is full of praise for the Proton Therapy Center and says she’s fortunate she could afford private healthcare.
RAISING £250,000 FOR PROTON THERAPY IN GERMANY
Adam Archer, a 29-year-old man from the UK who was diagnosed with aggressive bowel cancer and liver cancer in early 2017 is asking for help to fund proton therapy treatment in Germany.
“On the 24th of February 2017, after feeling unwell, I was diagnosed with not one but two cancers: a very aggressive bowel cancer and liver cancer, which have spread to my lymph nodes and are inoperable. I am currently receiving chemotherapy treatment to try and control the cancer’s growth at a hospital in London, over 230 miles from my home, but there is no knowing how successful it will be. After researching treatments in this field, I have discovered there are other treatments available across the world that are proving to be very successful. The Hallwang Clinic in Germany is a world leader, they offer a revolutionary treatment called proton therapy. This treatment is not available on the NHS and unfortunately is very expensive: the approximate cost for my treatment would be £250,000. The reason I have set up this just giving page is to see if you can help me achieve this total and help me fight this cancer and win my life back, at 29 years old, I’m not ready to give up! Funds raised will also help to support me through my ongoing chemotherapy in London, and any funds remaining after my medical expenses will be donated to charity in memory of my sister Dee who tragically lost her life to Leukaemia at the age of 14. Your help is invaluable to me and my family and I am eternally greatful for any donations.”