Bolton man becomes first patient in Europe to try groundbreaking new cancer drug

The Bolton News: Ian Brooks Ian Brooks

A CANCER patient who was weeks away from death has made medical history after becoming the first person in Europe to trial a groundbreaking drug.

Doctors thought Ian Brooks, aged 47, only had weeks to live after exhausting nearly all treatment options for an aggressive form of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, which had left his body full of tumours.

When Mr Brooks was asked if he wanted to trial the new drug — Brentuximab Vedotin — he volunteered immediately in bid cure his cancer and “help other people”.

But doctors at the Christie never expected the treatment to have such rapid and “remarkable” results in tackling the tumours.

Mr Brooks, of Sharnford Close, The Haulgh, is now in remission and the drug has been made available for the NHS patients with the same rare condition.

He said: “When you’re told you have cancer, you imagine you have one or two tumours, but it turned I had them all over my body.

“When they asked me about the trial, I just thought I had nothing to lose at the stage. To be truthful, I am not a selfish person.

"I thought if it went well, it could boost my chance of survival and if it didn’t and I died, they could use me as a medical study.

“Whatever happened, taking part would at least benefit other people in the future.

“When I’d had the treatment and they’d showed me the scans, I couldn’t believe the difference. I could see that the tumours had gone.”

Mr Brooks was first diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in 2001, aged 31, and responded well to treatment.

But in 2008 the cancer returned and he underwent a stem cell transplant.

Yet when Mr Brooks found a lump in his groin a year later, doctors confirmed the cancer had returned.

When he volunteered to trial the drug — known at the time simply as SGN-35 — he was put on a 12 week course of treatment.

The drug is described as a “targeted treatment” that locks only to the lymphoma cells and delivers a toxin or poison directly — unlike chemotherapy, which tackles all cells in the body.

Dr Adam Gibb, clinical research fellow in lymphoma at the Christie, said: “Ian had exhausted all other areas of treatment and we really thought he only had a few weeks left to live.

“We knew this was an exciting drug but we never expected to see such a dramatic improvement in his condition. The results after 12 weeks were remarkable.

“This is a great example of why taking part in a clinical trial can be so positive for medicine.”

Comments (6)

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6:33pm Tue 25 Feb 14

clairbeswick says...

Wow. That is just amazing news. So pleased to see such an amazing response to a new treatment. Let's hope this leads the way for more successful cancer patients. Well done Ian for taking part in the study and sharing your wonderful story.
Wow. That is just amazing news. So pleased to see such an amazing response to a new treatment. Let's hope this leads the way for more successful cancer patients. Well done Ian for taking part in the study and sharing your wonderful story. clairbeswick

8:04pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Citizen Cane says...

That is an incredible good news story. Best wishes to Ian for a sustained recovery.
That is an incredible good news story. Best wishes to Ian for a sustained recovery. Citizen Cane

10:45pm Tue 25 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

Totally agree with the 2 comments above.

I hope this could be the start of the end of the dreaded C. At least I hope its a giant leap anyway.

Good luck to Ian and hope he continues to have a much fuller and longer life.
Totally agree with the 2 comments above. I hope this could be the start of the end of the dreaded C. At least I hope its a giant leap anyway. Good luck to Ian and hope he continues to have a much fuller and longer life. BWFC71

4:16am Wed 26 Feb 14

BoltonLancs says...

This is fantastic, all the best to Ian and family.
This is fantastic, all the best to Ian and family. BoltonLancs

10:06am Wed 26 Feb 14

danssoncabaret says...

Hats off to this very brave man! He went into the program not knowing what the outcome would be, hoping others would benefit from himself taking part in the trials. Medical science is advancing, thanks to brave people undergoing trials. I wish this man and his family many happy and healthy years together.
Hats off to this very brave man! He went into the program not knowing what the outcome would be, hoping others would benefit from himself taking part in the trials. Medical science is advancing, thanks to brave people undergoing trials. I wish this man and his family many happy and healthy years together. danssoncabaret

2:49pm Wed 26 Feb 14

goldie47 says...

now this is a wonderful story........nothing like the crap printed about helen flanagan
now this is a wonderful story........nothing like the crap printed about helen flanagan goldie47

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