AN ANDOVER cancer patient who was offered end of life care by the NHS after his brain tumour was deemed “inoperable”, says he has now been completely cured by a radical form of treatment.

Eric Day, of Augusta Park, has been given the all-clear and says that he is now “pain free” following Proton Beam Therapy to treat the tumour, which was the size of a small orange, in the lumbar region of his brain, anterior to his spine.

The former dentist first developed colorectal cancer in 2012 and, at the time, was treated successfully with surgery and chemotherapy.

In August last year however, the 79-year-old received the devastating news that he’d developed a secondary tumour to his brain and with the severe risk of damage to nearby vital organs. Neither surgery, chemotherapy or traditional radiotherapy were realistic options for treatment.

The only choice left available to him in Britain was palliative treatment to relieve his constant pain.

After refusing to accept the prognosis and researching alternative therapies, his oncologist Dr Shanmugasundaram Ramkumar agreed to refer him to the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic, in December last year – the same facility which made headlines in 2014 after treating toddler Ashya King in controversial circumstances.

Following on from the Proton Beam Therapy, an advanced form of radiotherapy not routinely used in the UK, Eric says he’s “ecstatic” to have been given the all clear.

He said: “It’s four months since I took so much as a single Paracetamol tablet. I am pain free, eating properly again and have regained the lost weight.

“My ability to do things has returned to normal. My oncologist has seen me again to give the result of a recent positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which shows that the tumour has disappeared and there was no spread anywhere else.

“He said this was a ‘fantastic response’ and only routine monitoring would be needed for now. Needless to say, my wife and I were ecstatic.”

Proton therapy – available to NHS patients only in rare instances, typically involving child cancer patients – works by accelerating protons until they reach half the speed of light.

They are then targeted at cancer cells with pencil-point precision. Proton therapy can home-in on the exact area to target, preserving healthy tissue in front of the tumour and preventing damage to the tissue behind it.

The NHS is building two proton beam centres, one in London and one in Manchester, which are expected to open in 2018. There is an existing low energy proton machine used specifically to treat some eye cancers at the NHS Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Merseyside.