Comparing Radiotherapy with Proton Therapy in Childhood Cancer

Cancer Recovery Foundation UK and our US based charity Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation have provided £65,000 to help fund a leading collaborative international study, looking at the potential benefits of proton radiotherapy for young patients with brain tumours.

The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA and clinicians at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust – Europe’s leading cancer centre – are aiming to compare the use of proton therapy in the treatment of the paediatric brain tumour, medulloblastoma, with conventional photon radiotherapy.

The study will be looking at the quality of life of patients who have survived medulloblastoma who have been treated at The Royal Marsden with state of the art photon therapy, including intensity modulated radiotherapy. Their outcomes will be compared with those from patients who have been treated for the same condition with proton therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr Henry Mandeville, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden Hospital, and lead investigator for the study in the UK, said:

This study is an important step to improving paediatric cancer treatment and survival. It will both inform the debate on proton radiotherapy and clarify its role in the management of paediatric cancers.

In this era of escalating healthcare costs and budgetary constraints, it is essential that the value of new medical technologies be measured and proven by comparing the health outcomes between old and new technologies.

Currently, 22 patients from The Royal Marsden have been recruited for the study, from a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds.

As part of the study, patients will be asked to fill out a quality of life questionnaire.

The study has received £65,000 in funding from the Cancer Recovery Foundation UK and US-based charity, the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation. At The Royal Marsden the money will fund a Clinical Nurse Specialist for one day a week to help deliver the questionnaire and collate the data.

Recent research, including a 2012 report published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, has shown that cancer survival rates for children have increased to around 80%. However, treatment can sometimes leave children with side effects that can affect their quality of life.

Download a copy of the press release from Cancer Recovery Foundation UK here. 

Read more about the study here:

Funding for ground-breaking childhood cancer treatment announced‘ – Anaesthesia UK


Zachary’s Cancer Recovery Story

Zachs cancer recovery story image 1

Zachary was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in December 2007. He was just 10 days short of his 3rd birthday. It was an incredible shock to his family although they knew he was unwell. The hospital started his treatment immediately, and his initial reaction to all the drugs was dramatic and frightening. After staying in hospital for another 6 weeks, he finally came home and he was in remission with his last treatment in March 2011.

The family applied for a Cancer Recovery grant to help pay their outstanding Electricity bill, as due to the extra care needs of Zachary they had fallen into arrears causing the family significant stress. We were able to help them with a grant for £300 towards their outstanding bill.

“The last few years have been severely testing as you can imagine – personally, spiritually and just about everything else too!

Luckily, we (Mum & Dad) are still married – but it came to a close call more than once – and are still hanging in there. We have both suffered from bouts of depression and are told we constantly appear stressed!

Our sincerest thanks for the £300 Cancer Recovery has sent us towards our electricity bill – it REALLY helps! Things have been such a struggle here and as of last week I was made redundant, so I’m sure you can appreciate how much of a difference your help will make!

As we are now at the end of Zack’s three years of cancer treatment, we look forward to his continued improvement in health and finally getting to be a ‘normal’ family once again, enjoying all the things ‘normal’ families do! Hopefully, our faith will continue to hold and our relationship will prosper once again.

For those of you who are just starting out on this dreadful path, hang on in there, don’t forget each other (as well as your child) and just cling to the good things and the future.

Thanks once again so much for Cancer Recovery’s help!”

Zach Last Day of Chemotherapy cancer recovery story image 2

 

To read more pieces written by cancer survivors and those in recovery please visit our Survivor Stories page. You can also view more thank you notes and messages from past grant recipients on our Messages of Thanks page.


Play time at Bristol Children’s Hospital

Not just the children enjoyed playing with our gift bags at Bristol Children’s Hospital, the Nurses and Play Specialists on the oncology day unit got stuck in too!

nurses at bristol children's hospital

 

Each year Children’s Cancer Recovery Project sends out thousands of free Gift Bags to children right across the UK. We are always looking for new and exciting toys to include, so if you would like your product featured in one of our deliveries do get in touch. We are particularly in need of sensory toys. Any donations of new toys towards the programme are also greatly appreciated. Everything you donate helps us put a smile on the face of a child living with cancer.


Christmas gift bag thank you card from Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Another beautiful thank you card from the staff on Hedgehog Ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital about our Christmas Bear-able Gift Bags.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped support our 2014 Christmas gift bags and made them possible.

A special mention to the staff at the Man Group for their hard work and dedication to the programme.

Thank you note Tunbridge Wells Hospital

 

Each year Children’s Cancer Recovery Project sends out thousands of free Gift Bags to children right across the UK. We are always looking for new and exciting toys to include, so if you would like your product featured in one of our deliveries do get in touch. We are particularly in need of sensory toys. Any donations of new toys towards the programme are also greatly appreciated. Everything you donate helps us put a smile on the face of a child living with cancer.


Beautiful thank you note from St Mary’s Hospital Isle of Wight

A beautiful thank you note from the children and staff at St Mary’s Hospital Isle of Wight about our Gift Bags. The hospital were sent gift bags containing games and toys for 50 children staying in hospital over the Christmas period.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped support our 2014 Christmas gift bags and made them possible.

A special mention to the staff at the Man Group for their hard work and dedication to the programme.

Glittery Christmas Tree Thank you Card St Mary's Hospital Isle of Wight

Each year Children’s Cancer Recovery Project sends out thousands of  free Gift Bags to children right across the UK. We are always looking for new and exciting toys to include, so if you would like your product featured in one of our deliveries do get in touch. We are particularly in need of sensory toys. Any donations of new toys towards the programme are also greatly appreciated. Everything you donate helps us put a smile on the face of a child living with cancer.


Thank you from Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital

The lovely staff and patients at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital sent us this charming Christmas card along with a letter thanking us for our donation of toys and games through our Bear-able Gift bag programme.

xmas thankyou 2014 royal aberdeen children's hospital


Thank you from Hope House Hospice

Aaron and santa 2014

“Thank you so much for the toys and games you gave to the children for Christmas. I have attached a photograph of Santa delivering the gifts to the children. We really do appreciate your continued support.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

– Louise at Hope House Children’s Hospices