World

Ashya King case: British boy undergoes proton beam therapy in Prague

British boy Ashya King underwent his first proton beam therapy session for a life-threatening brain tumour in Prague on Monday, a week after the five-year-old boy was flown there from Spain.

About 30 sessions could occur in treatment not available in Britain

Ashya King's parents have fought a protracted battle to get their son treated with proton beam technology, which targets tumours more directly than radiotherapy but is not yet available in Britain. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press)

British boy Ashya King underwent his first proton beam therapy session for a life-threatening brain tumour in Prague on Monday, a week after the 5-year-old boy was flown there from Spain.

Ashya's case caused an international uproar after his parents removed him from an English hospital last month without doctors' consent and police launched a manhunt to find him.

Ashya's parents, Brett and Naghmeh King, had fought a protracted battle to get him proton beam treatment, which targets tumors more directly than radiotherapy but isn't yet available for brain tumour patients in Britain.

An 11-year-old Czech boy who had the same disease as Ashya and was treated with proton beam therapy offered the British boy some advice.

"He can't say to himself: 'I'm ill, so I'm not going to do anything,"' Miki Roth told The Associated Press. "He should read or exercise, try to walk, exercise his legs with therapists that visit him."

Miki was diagnosed with medulloblastoma about two years ago. Following surgery, he received radiation therapy at Prague's Proton Therapy Center.

The treatment worked well for Miki, who was in a wheelchair when he arrived at the centre for the first time. He walked on his own after 30 sessions, followed by a year of chemotherapy at Prague's Motol hospital.

Monday's treatment for Ashya was the first of 30 planned radiation sessions, the proton centre said, combined with chemotherapy to be applied at Motol where he was admitted last week.

Spanish police arrested Ashya's parents on Aug. 30. The parents travelled to Spain to sell an apartment they owned there to raise funds for the Czech treatment privately. They spent a night in jail, but were released after British authorities canceled an arrest warrant.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now