Macmillan commended for NanoKnife lobbying after pilot project announced
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.