We are getting better and better at treating cancer, but… (+ Video)

…It is sometimes at the cost of complications of the treatments themselves. The side effects are more or less serious, especially after radiation therapy. That’s what happened to me and what I am telling you in the video you can see below.

Work on the side effects of radiotherapy is rare.  Existing work includes in particular that conducted by a research team with Dr. Sylvie Delanian, oncologist-radiotherapist, and Jean-Louis Lefaix, researcher at the Commission for Atomic Energy (CEA) with the Dr. Pierre-François Pradat, neurologist.

Their work over the past two decades has enabled the development of promising treatments (PENTOCLO).

In close liaison with these two doctors, I created the Association for research on the effects of radiotherapy (ARSER), intended not to apportion blame, but rather to inform patients and doctors, and to raise money to fund this research.

Hervé Lionel-Marie, president of ARSER


Herve LIONEL-MARIE, founding President of ARSER:

It all began in Algeria, during my military service. So I was repatriated to the Val de Grâce hospital in Paris.  I started to receive very heavy radiation and cobalt treatment. After a dozen years, 15 years, I began to feel a loss of muscle in the right foot, very slowly, very gradually. And, around 1985, I was taken in charge by Professor Lividisiak, who incidentally is a friend, and he is the first to diagnose radiation-induced myelitis – i.e. a direct link between the radiation I had followed and the consequences that were noted. My heart problems were also due to it, and at the beginning, we did not do that diagnosis; and the small intestine suffered massive doses of radiation, which is not without consequence.

Dr. Sylvie DELANIAN, Oncologist Radiotherapist, St. Louis hospital:

Today, we must still remember that 8 to 9 out of 10 people are cured of cancer. Because prevention and prevention campaigns have done their job. We removed tumors more punctually and so the treatments became more intense than before, because often we intensified treatment to make the cure more certain. Therefore, we have healings.  However, there may be a price to pay; and then most oncologists say to you: “be happy to be healed, it’s already good.” It’s true… but maybe it’s also not enough.

Herve LIONEL-MARIE, founding President of ARSER:

This ‘ARSER’ association, it was set up in fact one year ago. There are two doctors, Dr Sylvie DELANIAN and Dr Pierre-François PRADAT, who are with me.  Our goal is to ensure that research initiated by the two doctors leads to a reduction or deletion, purely and simply, of these after-effects. That is really the goal.  So, it is resolutely aimed at the future.

Dr. Pierre-François PRADAT neurologist, La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital

It is essential that we raise awareness of institutional investors, who are of good will, but who sometimes do not know these pathologies, to tell them how much it is important, that it’s a public health issue and that it is important to make an effort, whether in research or in providing support to the daily life of the patients.

Dr. Alexandra FOURCADE, Hospital Practitioner of public health in the Ministry of health:

The Association, as Lionel HERVÉ-MARIE conceived it initially, surrounded by all the physicians who then helped him to build the project, has both a vocation of awareness of this public health problem and an obligation to follow up through communication and a web site, most of the persons concerned will get involved through the Association, and will make known and share these side effects. It is especially important to give these people access to treatments that are currently practiced by some clinicians; there is not enough work yet in this area.  A further objective is obviously to develop research to be able to get treatment promptly for tangible results and a reversal of these side effects.

Download the transcript of the video (303KB)