It's being reported everywhere today that Ashya King is now 'cancer free' and that his father Brett is saying that this is a miracle and completely justifies his actions in removing the boy from the UK and insisting on proton beam therapy.
Good news indeed that the boy is thriving,
What it is not, of course, is any kind of miracle, nor does it justify what the parents did in any way.
PBT was the wrong treatment for the condition which is why the NHS team didn't recommend it. The very big danger is that other people in a similar position will put pressure on their medical teams for the same treatment.
Proton beam therapy looks to me to have, at the moment at least, some of the attributes of a sCAM.
There is apparently little or no evidence that it is 'better' than conventional radiotherapy. It is promoted vigorously by private companies for profit. The companies running the PBT centres are reluctant to conduct proper trials for fear of expensive failure.
What the therapy does have which differentiates it from a conventional sCAM is a plausible mechanism - it *should* work.
The UK government is about to spend 250,000,000 quid on two of these facilities.
The Mirror includes this
Some medics say that only 1% of UK cancer patients are suitable for this kind of therapy while others have said more evidence is required to prove it is more effective and kinder than conventional radiotherapy.