Macmil­lan com­mended for NanoKnife lob­by­ing af­ter pilot pro­ject an­nounced

The Peterborough Examiner - - OPINION - VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD POST­MEDIA NET­WORK -- with files from Allison Jones, The Cana­dian Press

Trent Hills Mayor and Northum­ber­land County coun­cil­lor Hec­tor Macmil­lan was ap­plauded by fel­low Northum­ber­land County coun­cil­lors Wed­nes­day for his tire­less ef­forts in get­ting OHIP to pay for lead­ing edge tech­nol­ogy to treat pan­cre­atic can­cer.

“We should all be proud of county coun­cil mem­ber Hec­tor Macmil­lan,” Hamil­ton Town­ship Mayor Mark Lovshin said.

What he has been do­ing is lob­by­ing the Min­istry of Health to in­clude fund­ing to help those with pan­cre­atic can­cer through IRA NanoKnife tech­nol­ogy and it “is go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence for peo­ple,” Lovshin said.

Macmil­lan has been do­ing this while go­ing through his own strug­gle (with that kind of can­cer), the Lovshin con­tin­ued.

Lovshin was re­fer­ring to Health Min­is­ter Eric Hoskin’s an­nounce­ment Tues­day of $2.1-mil­lion for a pilot pro­ject to study the treat­ment NanoKnife treat­ment for pan­cre­atic can­cer.

“Had I known of the is­sue be­fore I was sick I would have done it any­way,” Macmil­lan said. “It was a wrong that need­ing to be cor­rected.”

How­ever, the fight is not over, he con­tin­ued, be­cause at this time there is not much help from this for those in stage 4.

“There is sig­nif­i­cant work still to be done,” Macmil­lan said.

The new clin­i­cal trial for pan­cre­atic can­cer pa­tients in On­tario is set to start this spring.

The Univer­sity Health Net­work has only op­er­ated the Ir­re­versible Elec­tro­po­ra­tion trial pro­gram — also known as NanoKnife — for liver tu­mours, but that’s now ex­pand­ing with up to $2.1 mil­lion in fund­ing from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

El­i­gi­ble pan­cre­atic can­cer pa­tients will soon be able to ac­cess the min­i­mally in­va­sive treat­ment that de­liv­ers an elec­tric cur­rent to the tu­mour us­ing two fine nee­dles guided by ul­tra­sound or CT scan.

Macmil­lan had hoped to get OHIP fund­ing to ac­cess the pro­ce­dure in the United States. But when he was de­nied he launched a vo­cal cam­paign and did not mince words, ac­cus­ing the health min­istry of mur­der­ing him.

He ul­ti­mately turned to Ger­many, where the pro­ce­dure was much less ex­pen­sive, and raised money on­line to fund the surgery there. MacMil­lan had been told he wouldn’t make it to Christ­mas 2016, but af­ter the pro­ce­dure he said his prog­no­sis is “five plus years.”

Macmil­lan cheered Tues­day’s clin­i­cal trial news.

“Some things are just ab­so­lutely worth fight­ing for,” he said.


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