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Hope for grandad with killer cancer

PUBLISHED: 16:19 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:26 23 August 2010

CANCER SUFFERER: Brendan Moriarty.

CANCER SUFFERER: Brendan Moriarty.

A GRANDFATHER suffering from terminal cancer has the chance to receive new potentially life-saving treatment. Brendan Moriarty, 67, was told in November last year that West Kent Primary Care Trust would not pay £22,000 for the revolutionary new CyberKnif

A GRANDFATHER suffering from terminal cancer has the chance to receive new potentially life-saving treatment.

Brendan Moriarty, 67, was told in November last year that West Kent Primary Care Trust would not pay £22,000 for the revolutionary new CyberKnife treatment for his bowel cancer.

However, through the work of his specialist surgeon, Dr Andrew Gaya, and charity The New Victoria Medical Foundation, which has agreed to fund part of the procedure, Mr Moriarty's life could now be saved.

Mr Moriarty, of Astra Drive, Gravesend, said: "It is amazing that something is happening at long last. It has been very difficult."

CyberKnife involves a robotic arm, similar to that used in manufacturing products, shooting a beam of radiation that kills the tumour cells.

The former north Kent police officer will pay £8,000, while the charity contributes £7,000, match-funded by the specialist clinic in Harley Street, London, that performs CyberKnife.

Mr Moriarty added: "The previous operation I had on my cancer took seven hours and a long time to recover from. This is non-invasive and so I should be able to go home the same day."

He will undergo a series of scans to determine the extent of the tumour and hopes to be treated within the next month.

Graham Ball, chairman of the board of trustees at New Victoria Medical Foundation, said the charity was "stepping in to right a wrong."

He added: "In this particular case 60 per cent of the CyberKnife therapy is paid for by the patient's PCT. In this instance, West Kent won't so this is a classic case of the postcode lottery."

Dr James Thallon, from West Kent PCT, said: "The panel considered a range of evidence into the application for funding of CyberKnife treatment, and sought the opinions of experts such as consultant surgeons and colorectal specialists.

"The panel concluded that there is too little evidence available that this treatment is likely to be safe and effective. This was backed up by independent specialists.

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