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Cancer sufferer's plea to trial new treatment

PUBLISHED: 16:20 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:17 23 August 2010

SUFFERING: Brendan Moriarty

SUFFERING: Brendan Moriarty

WE all die, that is a fact of life, but it would be nice if I could have a bit longer to see my grandchildren grow up. These are the words of Brendan Moriarty, 67, a cancer sufferer fighting for a revolutionary treatment that West Kent PCT has refused

WE all die, that is a fact of life, but it would be nice if I could have a bit longer to see my grandchildren grow up."

These are the words of Brendan Moriarty, 67, a cancer sufferer fighting for a revolutionary treatment that West Kent PCT has refused to pay.

He has been told by his doctor, Andrew Gaya, that a high-tech new treatment called 'Cyberknife' combined with chemotherapy is the only way to cure his bowel cancer. The treatment, which is only available at a single clinic in Harley Street, London, would cost £22,000. The grandfather-of-four, of Astra Drive, Gravesend, has already fought off prostate cancer, bladder cancer and an earlier attack of bowel cancer.

He said: "I have had quite a few problems with the chemo this time because it is very severe and at the moment I am off it.

"I am just waiting every day. The sooner it is done and we can kill the tumour, the better my chances are.

"The chemo is bloody awful; I know it is keeping me alive but what is the use if the quality of

life is so poor?"

The Cyberknife treatment features a robotic arm, similar to that used in manufacture, to send a beam of radiation that kills the tumour cells. Used on 35,000 patients worldwide, the treatment requires no anaesthesia, there is no recovery time and patients can usually be treated and go home on the same day.

"I gather West Kent are unwilling to pay because not enough tests have been done on people in this country. but I am more than willing to be a guinea pig," said Mr Moriarty, who worked as a police officer in Gravesend and Dartford for 28 years before retiring 12 years ago.

Medical director Dr James Thallon told the Reporter that West Kent PCT is reviewing the case and stated no final decision has been made.

He said: "The panel initially declined, finding there wasn't sufficient evidence the treatment would be beneficial, and the specialists advised against it.

"The clinician who referred the case has provided new information which will be considered by the panel before they make a decision."

Mr Moriarity thanked both Dr Gaya and Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway, for pursuing his case.

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