Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is revolutionizing the treatment of childhood cancer and giving hope to patients from all over the world.
MAHAM’S PROTON THERAPY FUND
Maham, a 3-year-old girl from the UK, was only 10 months old when she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor mainly affecting children.
Back in 2015, Maham was rushed straight to the hospital to undergo multiple surgeries on her brain, and then received chemotherapy over the course of 8 months. After that, she was well on her way to recovery despite the fact that her ability to walk and eat properly had been affected by treatment. Now aged 3, Maham and her family just received another blow when they learned that her tumor had returned. Her doctors have suggested that she should receive radiotherapy. As traditional radiotherapy could be very detrimental to her health and well being and present very long lasting side affects, her parents want to try and get her pioneering proton therapy, which will not be available in the UK until 2018 but is particularly suitable to complex childhood cancers. To offer Maham a greater chance of success at beating her disease, her parents are trying to raise £100.000 and are urgently requiring funds due to risk of the cancer spreading through her bloodstream.
PT AS BEST OPTION FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER
Treatment options for childhood cancer are no longer narrowed down to chemotherapy and surgery only, as evidenced by doctors at ProCure Proton Therapy Center at Somerset, who have used a new way to turn Ben Lepisto’s life around.
16-year-old Ben was diagnosed with medulloblastoma last year, a fast-growing high-grade tumor located in the part of the brain that regulated muscular coordination, after he experienced blurring eyesight and fatigue. According to Dr. Brian Chon, medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, and it accounts for about 20% of all childhood brain tumors. Proton therapy is a more accurate way to target cancer cells, has more tolerable and less severe side effects, both short-term and long-term, than X-ray radiation. This treatment option is thus especially important for the fight against childhood cancers since young patient’s bodies are still developing and maturing. “More and more medical literature is emerging, indicating that using proton therapy is likely to reduce the risk of radiation-induced cancers,” said Dr. Chon. Historically, medulloblastoma has led to grave outcomes in children and teens, but with improvements in medical technology and the addition of proton therapy, oncologists like Chon have seen better outcomes for patients like Ben. “We’re lucky to have been able to treat Ben with proton therapy and help pave a path forward for him to a healthy, happy and normal future.” Today, Ben is cancer-free and looking ahead to the upcoming school year.
POLICEMAN BATTLING BRAIN TUMOR
Nick Tant, a police officer from the Edmond Police Department in Oklahoma, USA is battling a brain tumor along with surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. His department are raising money to help his family through this ordeal.
Nick, beloved husband and father of 2 daughters, began experiencing headaches and other minor symptoms over a 10-day period last October, and was diagnosed with grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. He was soon taken into a lengthy surgery to remove the tumor on his brain, and has since then gone through proton therapy and extensive chemo. He is currently getting a maintenance chemo treatment every month for five days, and is expected to undergo more surgeries within the coming months. “You can imagine the medical bills. This is where you come in,” the Edmond Police Department said in a post on their Facebook page. For the fifth year, the police department will host the Matt Terry Softball Tournament on October 1, 2017 at the Edmond 66 Park Softball Complex. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. and will go through the afternoon, and all of the money raised will go to the Tant family.