Updated 31 January 2019

WATCH: Proton beam therapy gives hope to teen boy with rare tumour

A teenager with an inoperable brain tumour has hope for the future – he will be one of the first people to undergo proton beam therapy in the UK.

Fifteen-year Mason Kettley has a rare brain tumour, which was diagnosed as inoperable.

But Kettley now has hope for the future, in the form of proton beam therapy – he will be one of the first patients to be treated in the United Kingdom, at a new therapy centre in Manchester.

According to the NHS, proton beam therapy uses beams of protons to achieve the same cell-killing effect as conventional radiotherapy, but, unlike conventional radiotherapy, the beam of protons stops once it "hits" the cancerous cells, resulting in much less damage to surrounding tissue.

The therapy first made waves in 2014, when a British couple took their child to the Czech Republic amid an international police hunt and media storm – after ignoring medical advice. 


Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules