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Teenager with brain tumor for proton beam therapy | society



A 15-year-old with a rare brain tumor undergoes ground-breaking proton beam therapy at the UK's first dedicated treatment center.

Mason Kettley of Angmering, West Sussex will receive the highly targeted therapy that will help shrink tumors and reduce the risk of side effects.

It will be held on Wednesday at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, home to the world's newest proton beam therapy center.

Mason is one of the first patients to undergo proton beam therapy in the UK and the first to go public. So far, British patients who needed the treatment had to travel to countries like the US.

Proton radiotherapy is a highly targeted treatment that targets tumors much more accurately than traditional radiotherapy. This makes it beneficial for patients with difficult-to-treat tumors in critical areas, such as the brain or spinal cord, and for young people whose tissues are still developing.

The most prominent case of proton beam therapy is that of five-year-old Aysha King, who underwent surgery in 201

4 at Southampton General Hospital for a brain tumor. Against the advice of the hospital his parents brought the child to proton beam therapy to Spain, since the NHS did not offer the treatment at that time. The case sparked an international search for the family and the parents of Asha were arrested. The Supreme Court finally ruled that Aysha could receive proton beam therapy in Prague. In 2018, Aysha was declared cancer free.

Mason was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in October after experiencing a headache and not gaining weight. Following a biopsy and shunt insertion surgery, the physicians refer the Mason case to a national panel of experts. They decided that his tumor – known as benign pilomyxoides astrocytoma – made him a suitable candidate for proton beam therapy.





  Radiographers David Kirk (left) and Melissa Bentley (right) demonstrate the NHS's new proton beam kit.



Radiographers David Kirk (left) and Melissa Bentley (right) demonstrate the NHS's new proton beam kit. Photo: Danny Lawson / PA
Mason is treated for nearly six weeks from Monday to Friday – a total of 28 treatments.

A purpose-built radiation therapy mask was created to keep his head completely calm during therapy.

He said, "The short-term effects are that you sometimes vomit and have a headache, but in the long run the side effects are rare. "

Mason, who will sit next year's GCSEs, will be back six weeks before school.

Two new proton beam therapy centers were built with £ 250 million in government funding at Christie & University College London Hospital (UCLH).

The clinical oncologist dr. Gillian Whitfield, who oversees Mason's care at the University of Michigan Christie said, "With proton-beam therapy, there are fewer doses and less long-term risk of treatment compared to traditional radiotherapy compared to normal tissue.

"This is particularly important for children and adolescents with curable tumors, who will survive decades after treatment and have a much higher risk for serious long-term effects of the treatment than adults.

] "For Mason, proton radiotherapy should have a lower risk of some important long-term side effects of treatment compared to conventional radiotherapy, especially short-term memory and learning and risk over the next eight decades of radiation that causes other tumors. "

Prof. Stephen Powis, medical director of the NHS in England, said, "This is a very exciting development for the NHS, and we are pleased to be able to offer this life-changing treatment to patients like Mason. "


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