For some cancer patients, Provision marks the end of their road in treating their disease. For others, it’s just a stop along the way.
That’s the case for 13-year-old Philip Parks, whose gioblastoma, a quickly reproducing brain cancer, required three surgeries and took him to Germany on the quest for a cure before he landed at Provision for proton therapy.
His battle is by no means over.
Next week Philip, his mom Lydia and his younger brother are getting ready to travel to Israel for another type of therapy the family hopes will halt the tumors that keep regrowing in his brain. His mom describes the treatment on a site set up to raise funds for the treatment and trip.
“There is a very hopeful cancer treatment plan at CTCI Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel, that would be administered by Dr Slavin, an expert in immunotherapy who studied at Stanford and has successfully treated and cured many “incurable” cases with immunotherapy. The plan includes dendritic cell vaccines, injected with placenta and cord tissue derived MSCt, two immuno drugs that have passed phase III trials, and an oncolytic virus that has also passed Phase III trials, as well as oncothermia. Both his neuro-oncologist at (the University of Kentucky) and Dr Slavin at CTCI are communicating together, to come up with the most effective way to fight back at the aggressive nature of Phil’s cancer. This will require at least three weeks in Israel.”
The Parks came to Provision Center for Proton Therapy for treatment he needed to keep the tumors at bay while they explored further options, Lydia says. Philip is a gifted student, and Lydia feared the long-term damage conventional radiation would inflict on his developing brain. Proton therapy provides targeted doses of radiation to the specific disease sites with little exposure to surrounding tissue and organs.
“Radiation does buy time with glioblastoma,” Lydia said. “For me, it’s just the hope that he’s going to live and that he’ll have two-thirds more of his brain that’s not been irradiated.”
You can read more about Philip’s journey at ProtonStories.com, a site devoted to the unique journeys of Provision’s proton therapy patients. He was also recently featured in an article in Southeast Outlook, a Christian magazine. It is a privilege to play a part in the brave, hopeful stories of people like Philip and his family.