Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is giving hope and saving more and more families from harm.
Matt jets off to the US for proton therapy
Young dad Matt Rackley has flown to Oklahoma just five months after a campaign was launched to raise £150,000 to pay for pioneering treatment that could save his life.
Matt, 24, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012 and was told that he could be dead by April 2014. As conventional radiotherapy was ruled out (it could damage the tissue surrounding Matt’s brain), the Rackleys set out on a mission to get him to America for proton therapy.
In May, the Matt’s Fund campaign was launched. About £170,000 has been raised. Matt’s brother said: “It’s been amazing. For such a short period of time, to raise that money, has been mad. It’s phenomenal how everyone came together, got it done and the fact that it’s actually happening now. It’s happening. I’m overwhelmed.”
Yesterday morning Matt and his partner Hollie flew from Heathrow to Oklahoma City for the nine-week procedure.
Matt says he is feeling ok but is understandably nervous ahead of the operation. He is due to meet doctors today, and starts treatment in a week. Any excess cash will be given to the Kids ‘n’ Cancer charity.
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P.I.N.K. brings in hope for breast cancer survivors
The breast cancer research foundation Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is funding life saving research projects every year and making the ultimate difference for many women with breast cancer.
Women like Viki Zarkin, who was diagnosed in January of 2011 with stage four breast cancer. “The doctor said go home and die, there’s nothing I can do for you. But I told them they needed to come up with a better plan than that,” Viki said. That better plan involved finding a doctor who used a special treatment called Proton Radiation Therapy that has helped extend her life. Now, thanks to Play For P.I.N.K., more research will be done to help other patients. “This research is going to benefit me and thousands of other like me, who are still on chemo. We need that research.” Zarkin said.
Funded entirely by Bloomburg and Estee Lauder, P.I.N.K. is a national organization that provides a fun way to raise money and awareness.
Lifesaving USA trip for two-year-old boy
A two-year-old boy will fly to Oklahoma for proton therapy treatment that could save him from a rare form of cancer, after the NHS agreed to pay the £100,000 cost.
Tyler Brown was diagnosed in April with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer affecting his spine, after he woke up one morning unable to walk or support the weight of his head. Surgeons were planning to remove the tumor but it was too close to vital nerves, and the surgery would have left him with disabilities so severe he would have been unable to walk or eat unaided.
Instead, doctors suggested proton therapy treatment, which is not available in the UK yet, and a panel of NHS experts approved the £100,000 cost after studying details of Tyler’s condition.
He will fly out with his father next weekend to start a course of treatment which is expected to continue until shortly before Christmas. When that is over, doctors will have to continue administering chemotherapy to give Tyler the best chance of a permanent cure.