Mason Kettley, a 15-year-old boy, is set to become one of the first patients in the UK to receive proton beam therapy at Manchester’s Christie hospital
The teenager, who was diagnosed with a rare pilomyxoid astrocytoma in October 2017, will receive the specialist radiotherapy treatment at the £125m centre.
The therapy is designed to treat cancers without damaging healthy tissues around the tumour.
This is particularly beneficial for children with certain types of brain tumours, who risk lasting damage to developing brains with conventional treatment, though not all cases will be eligible for such treatment.
Previously, the majority of eligible patients were required to travel abroad for treatment via the Proton Overseas Programme to Florida in the US or Germany.
Despite NHS England commissioning the high-energy treatment, however, some patients have been unable to travel overseas because they are too ill or their treatment requirements were too urgent.
Another centre is currently being built at University College London Hospitals with treatment to begin in summer 2020.
It is hoped each centre will treat up to 750 patients every year.
In some cases, those suitable for proton beam therapy will now not have to travel abroad for treatment which can cause major upheaval to patients and their families at an extremely stressful time.
Whilst the treatment is only suitable for a number of brain tumours we urge any patient or parent of patient who is Interested in exploring the possibility of proton beam therapy to discuss their eligibility with their Clinical Oncologist.
Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr David Jenkinson said: “This is welcome news for our community, where some will have a wider access to treatments.
“Given the lack of treatment options for this terrible disease, we will work to ensure kinder treatments with fewer side effects are made available to patients so that we accelerate our strategy and get closer to a cure.“