Rebecca Harris MP for Castle Point, has welcomed the news that Mason Kettley a 15-year-old boy with a rare brain tumour, will begin world leading treatment at the NHS’s new Proton Beam Therapy centre in Manchester at The Christie. Mason is one of the first patients to undergo Proton Beam Therapy on the NHS in England following the completion of the new £125 million centre last year.
Rebecca is a patron of the Danny Green Fund a local charity founded in the memory of Danny a Canvey resident who lost his battle with a brain tumour at the age of 11. Rebecca was previously chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours before she had to step down due to becoming a Government whip.
Rebecca said: “Since I entered parliament in 2010 I have been campaigning for a greater understanding of brain tumours and improved outcomes for patients. I am pleased to see that the innovative Proton Beam Therapy treatment is now up and running in the UK and I wish Mason all the best with his treatment. The Government is committed to investing in our health service and making sure that the NHS remains a world leader in medical innovation. The Danny Green Fund does such good work raising awareness of brain tumours and supporting young patients and I know that they are pleased with this new development.”
Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets cancers, increasing success rates and reducing side effects, which makes it an ideal treatment for certain cancers in children who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing. The state-of-the-art treatment is only available in a handful of countries around the world.
The NHS England-funded centre opened last year and is the first NHS treatment centre in England. A second is due to open at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust next year. It is expected that they will each treat up to 750 patients every year. A number of patients are currently undergoing PBT at The Christie and more patients have been identified and are currently in the planning phase with medical staff, to determine the best date for their first treatment. The Christie’s Proton Beam centre is the newest and most up to date centre in the world.
Mason Kettley, from Angmering, West Sussex, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October and is currently still attending school and is in the middle of preparing for his GCSEs next year. His experiences as a patient have made him decide he would like to train as a doctor.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for the NHS in England stated: “This is a hugely exciting development for the NHS and we are delighted that we are able to provide this life changing treatment for patients like Mason. “The long term plan for the NHS last week set out a range of plans that will radically transform cancer care across the country, benefitting hundreds of thousands of patients in the next five years.”
Chris and Lisa Green, of the Danny Green Fund said: “We were delighted to read about the young boy who will be treated at the new Proton Beam Therapy Centre here in the UK. Due to Danny's specific tumour type Proton Beam treatment was not considered to be his best option of a cure although several of the children we met while at Great Ormond Street Hospital travelled abroad for the treatment and have thankfully been in remission since receiving the treatment. It is wonderful that families will no longer have to travel abroad to receive this treatment, it is difficult enough dealing with a brain tumour diagnosis without the upheaval of moving abroad for treatment that was not available in the UK.
The Danny Green Fund are passionate about increasing investment into brain tumour research and we are hopeful that the new facility will help to save many lives in the future. Danny would have been 18 in February and we are holding several 18 related charity challenges over the coming months to help fundraise for the charity to provide therapies for children who are suffering from disabilities as the result of a brain tumour along with funding days of dedicated brain tumour research working alongside Brain Tumour Research at Portsmouth University. We are hoping for a future where there will be a cure for brain tumours and families will no longer have to suffer the loss of a precious child. We wish the young boy good luck for his treatment and hope that he will soon be given the all clear and that the family get their happy ever after that they are so desperately hoping for.”