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Ian Brooks, 47, from Bolton, had just weeks to live after he ran out of treatment options for his very aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Ian was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, called anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2001, and was rushed into initial treatment, which he responded well to. In 2008, when Ian was 40, the cancer returned.
He underwent a stem cell transplant but the cancer came back again and spread throughout his body, he became so ill he was given only weeks to live by doctors. With his options running out, Ian decided to volunteer to take part in a trial for the drug Brentuximab Vedotin – a type of biological therapy drug which contains antibodies which seek out cancer cells by targeting particular proteins in the non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells, and stops the cell from spreading.
After two weeks of treatment, his body was clear of tumours. Consultants at the Christie Hospital in Manchester were amazed when they looked at Ian’s scan just a few weeks after his treatment and found it was completely clear, and the trial proved so successful that Brentuximab Vedotin is now regularly available to NHS patients with the same rare condition that Ian had, and for those with few treatment options available to them.
Ian said: “I don’t think I would be here today without that drug. My specialist at the hospital was so excited when he saw the results that he came and showed me them right away. I had 60 or 70 tumours and they had gone.”
Now in remission, Mr Brooks is celebrating his ten year anniversary with his partner Rose, and hopes to return to his job repairing electrical motors. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said: “I can’t thank the NHS and the hospital enough for what they have done for me. Everybody has been wonderful. Hopefully me taking part in this trial will help other people.”