World First Drug Trial in Manchester Leaves Man With No Trace of Cancer

By Holly Brockwell on at

Medical science took another step towards finding a cure for cancer today with the news that experimental NHS cancer centre The Christie has participated in a world-first drug trial that has left a 60-year-old man with no trace of the disease.

Stockport local Bob Berry was given between 12 and 18 months to live when the cancer was discovered in his lung three years ago. A cancerous lung tumour was spotted when he had a scan for shoulder pain, and it had already spread to his lymph nodes. Traditional cancer treatment didn't seem to be making any difference, so he was referred to the Christie's trials team a year ago and put on the first-in-human and first-in-class trial.

The new drug used in the trial has only been tried on 12 people worldwide, ITV reports, including three at Manchester's The Christie. It can't be named just yet, but if Bob's case is anything to go by, it's sounding promising.

Bob and some of his family members. Image: The Christie

At the time of starting the drug, Bob had already treated with both radiotherapy and chemotherapy to no avail. The nameless drug is twinned with immunotherapy for maximum effectiveness, though as Bob's consultant Dr Matthew Krebs comments, not everyone will see the same results:

"Bob has had a phenomenal response to taking part in this clinical trial. His most recent scans show that he’s had a complete response with no apparent trace of tumour in his body. We will need to monitor Bob closely with regular scans to assess how durable this response will be. As it is a combined study with a brand new drug, we still have a lot of further research to do before we can establish how these findings can help more patients like Bob in the future as cancer is a complex disease and not every patient responds as well as this."

As ever, the experts are remaining cautious about what this means for cancer treatment as a whole - but there's no denying it's good news. Especially for Bob and his family. [The Christie via ITV]

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