Cancer Patients without Borders…
Institute founder, Grace Gawler, received life saving surgery in the Netherlands in 2002-3 & again in Singapore in 2009 & 2014. The surgery and colon-stimulator implant, is still not available for her condition, in Australia. (2017)
With her history, it is not surprising that Cancer Patients without Borders is the Grace Gawler Institute’s initiative to help patients find medical solutions overseas – when these are not available in their home countries.
The need: Cancer treatments are not equal in all countries – some offer a wider range of options.
Example: Proton beam therapy is very effective for many cancers, however none exists in Australia, NZ, the UK or many other countries. It is widespread in the USA, Germany, EU and some of our Asian neighbours.
- Is not just a referral service – it is more comprehensive – providing guidance at every step of the process.
- We receive no financial remuneration from the hospitals we refer to – meaning we can advise/choose the best hospital for you – we are free of loyalties that could restrict (tempt) us if we were paid by a particular clinic or hospital.
- The only remuneration we receive is from you, the patient – and donations.
- We help match you to centres of excellence with expertise in your particular cancer.
- We have close collaborations with some of the world’s leading oncologists – Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Germany, the UK, EU and the USA.
- We liaise with the appropriate doctors in the centres providing them with a comprehensive medical picture of your case.
- We guide and assist you at every step of the way, which includes recommending a travel agent that is experienced in these matters.
- We maintain a close connection with you while overseas and can provide liaisons with your local doctors and oncology team – this is essential for long-term maintenance.
Helping Patients Navigate the National & International Cancer Maze:
Why referrals to Asia have replaced Germany for Australian & New Zealand patients:
NOTE: For patients living in the UK and Europe we have a network of leading oncologists operating from reputable hospitals who enjoy assisting our patients because our communication, patient reports and follow up are so thorough. More information for UK patients
History: We have referred patients to Germany for 30 + years. For three years we led clinical tours to a German oncology clinic. We typically spent three months each year living and working in the clinic.
In mid 2014 we resigned from the clinic collaborations for a number of reasons…
- Some Asian countries had treatments better or equal to Germany but at lower cost
- The rigors of the greater distance to Germany can be disastrous to patients
- Asian collaboration is better and more reliable than Germany
- Published results of patient recovery are more accurate and reliable in JapanFor example…
- Similar/better treatments – cheaper (1/5 cost)
- Clinical Trials & Research: Often we can access trials in Asia that patients would never find without our assistance.
- After assessment we can refer you to Asian clinics with proven track records.
- For difficult colo-rectal surgical procedures, we can refer you to a world ranked colo-rectal surgeon; himself a recovered cancer patient.
- If you wish to value add to your current cancer treatment we can organise professionally delivered hyperthermia & complementary medicine combined (not available at this quality in Australia) as well as personalised cancer vaccines and immunotherapies.
- Combined with our follow up, case management & Australian-based oncology referrals; this an very powerful package for enhancing your cancer recovery outcomes.
- We find medical professionalism is higher than in German Clinics.
About Global Referrals:
SELF REFERRALS: From our experience many self referred patients often travel with incomplete medical records and no body to case manage or advocate on their behalf. In particular – they often do not return to their home oncologist (he/she may not work with you anymore) when they arrive back in their home country. Thus they tend to maintain a poor level of monitoring and follow up.
With little real knowledge of treatments and the nature of cancer itself – patients rarely know the questions to ask or how to validate the treatments they are offered. There is so much to know before embarking on an overseas trip for cancer treatment.
Often patients self-refer to International Clinics, having chosen from the internet; many simply choose the cheaper option without really knowing what they are getting for their spend. Many Clinics treating cancer in Germany & Mexico are alternative medicine based – but there are a few who wisely combine conventional medicine with complementary and psychological approaches. These present a better option – but once again, there is a lot to know before you embark upon such a journey.
As one patient said: ” We didn’t know what we didn’t know when we tried to assess & research overseas cancer treatments on our own.”
Contact Grace via the CONTACT PAGE for personalised assistance with a referral to Asia.
In a study published today in the journal Immunity, a collaboration of researchers from the UK and the USA, led by Professor Gillian Griffiths at the University of Cambridge, describe how specialised members of our white blood cells known as cytotoxic T cells destroy tumour cells and virally-infected cells. Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, the research team, with funding from the Wellcome Trust, has captured the process on film.
“Inside all of us lurks an army of serial killers whose primary function is to kill again and again,” explains Professor Griffiths, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. “These cells patrol our bodies, identifying and destroying virally infected and cancer cells and they do so with remarkable precision and efficiency.”
There are billions of T cells within our blood – one teaspoon full of blood alone is believed to have around 5 million T cells, each measuring around 10 micrometres in length, about a tenth the width of a human hair. Each cell is engaged in the ferocious and unrelenting battle to keep us healthy. The cells, seen in the video as orange or green amorphous ‘blobs’ move around rapidly, investigating their environment as they travel.
When a cytotoxic T cell finds an infected cell or, in the case of the film, a cancer cell (blue), membrane protrusions rapidly explore the surface of the cell, checking for tell-tale signs that this is an uninvited guest. The T cell binds to the cancer cell and injects poisonous proteins known as cytotoxins (red) down special pathways called microtubules to the interface between the T cell and the cancer cell, before puncturing the surface of the cancer cell and delivering its deadly cargo.
“In our bodies, where cells are packed together, it’s essential that the T cell focuses the lethal hit on its target, otherwise it will cause collateral damage to neighbouring, healthy cells,” says Professor Griffiths. “Once the cytotoxins are injected into the cancer cell, its fate is sealed and we can watch as it withers and dies. The T cell then moves on, hungry to find another victim.”
The researchers captured the footage through high-resolution 3D time-lapse multi-colour imaging, making use of both spinning disk confocal microscopy and lattice light sheet microscopy. These techniques involves capturing slices through an object and ‘stitching’ them together to provide the final 3D images across the whole cell. Using these approaches the researchers have managed to elucidate the order the events leading to delivery of the lethal hit from these serial killers.