Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 17:16 UK

Boy awaits brain cancer operation

Alex Barnes
Alex Barnes has a rare form of cancer

A four-year-old boy from Leicestershire is in the US awaiting what is hoped will be life-saving cancer treatment.

Alex Barnes, from Fleckney, is in Florida for specialist surgery to remove a rare brain tumour.

He is due to have his operation on Wednesday before undergoing weeks of innovative proton therapy - an advanced form of radiotherapy.

Well-wishers in the East Midlands have raised thousands of pounds to pay for Alex's treatment.


Surgeons will aim to remove his whole tumour, known as an anaplastic ependymoma, which was around 3mm in August but has doubled in size since then.

Alex's mother Ros Barnes said: "They're going to have a look and see if there are other cancerous areas and remove them as well - and it has turned into a much bigger operation because those areas are in a more difficult place."

The operation will be performed at the Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville and a number of other hospitals will also be involved in Alex's care.

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiotherapy which experts believe can target the tumour more precisely then conventional radiotherapy.

It is also thought to be safer as it does not damage the surrounding tissue.

Around 35,000 has now been raised by well-wishers to pay for Alex's treatment.


Alex Barnes needs to have a rare brain tumour removed

Cancer boy ready to travel to US
20 Sep 08 |  Leicestershire
Cancer family happy with support
19 Sep 08 |  Leicestershire
Boy's family need therapy cash
18 Sep 08 |  Leicestershire

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