Grandad becomes 1,000th patient to receive groundbreaking cancer treatment, joins fight against the disease
Adrian Bishop had proton beam therapy (PBT) at The Christie Hospital in Manchester after being diagnosed with tonsil cancer.
The 56-year-old from Rawmarsh is also playing his part in research after joining a clinical test project called the Torpedo Trial.
Doctors in Sheffield explained that Adrian, who had reported a painful ulcer at the back of his throat was getting bigger, would be an ideal patient for PBT — a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets certain cancers very precisely, reducing side effects.
While the current standard treatment is usually effective, patients with head and neck tumours can suffer from long-term side effects including dry mouth, loss of taste, difficulty chewing and swallowing and problems with hearing.
Some might need to use a feeding tube for the rest of their lives.
Grandad of two Adrian, who is married to Marie and works for Royal Mail, said: “I’m quite proud to be the 1,000th patient at The Christie to receive proton treatment.
“I hadn’t heard of it before — everyone has heard of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but not proton beam.
“When I learnt more about it, it looked an ideal way to help me suffer fewer side effects than the usual treatment can cause.”
Adrian is currently midway through his treatment, which will include 33 sessions of daily PBT treatment as well as two chemotherapy sessions.
He will stay at specially arranged and NHS-funded accommodation in Manchester throughout his time in the city.
Adrian added: “It is going well so far.
“I was obviously very frightened when I was diagnosed. It was a huge shock and in some ways, the mental impact is just as tough as the physical side.
“Fortunately my doctors explained that with the treatment it would be curable.
“I know I have a few tough weeks ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to getting my treatment completed so I can get back to my passions of fishing, football and rugby — and most importantly getting home to Marie, who has been my rock through this.”
Adrian is also part of the pioneering first PBT clinical trial in the UK currently taking place at The Christie.
The Torpedo Trial, co-led by The Christie and The Institute of Cancer Research is aiming to determine whether the use of PBT reduces long-term side effects and improves quality of life for patients treated with radiotherapy for throat cancer.
A year after treatment, patients will be asked about their quality of life and doctors will assess the impact of any side effects.
Any patients interested in taking part in clinical trials should discuss this option with their consultant or GP.