On Oct. 6, 2005, when Nobuhito Kiyosato went to the Kanagawa Cancer Center, where he had been treated for kidney cancer since 2001, he was told there would be a major change in his treatment.

"My doctor told me the hospital could no longer administer LAK (lymphokine-activated killer) therapy" to boost his immune system against cancer that he had been receiving in addition to interferon, Kiyosato said.

The 60-year-old had been undergoing the LAK treatment — which was not covered by his public health insurance policy — since September 2001 when it was found that his cancer had spread to some bones in his head and cervical vertebra.