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Home ยป Worsley Man Given Year To Live Cancer-Free After Christie’s Drug Trial

Worsley Man Given Year To Live Cancer-Free After Christie’s Drug Trial

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, Robert Glynn was told he had less than 12 months to live

A man who “jumped at the chance” to join a drug trial after being diagnosed with cancer and given 12 months to live has said “getting the all-clear was overwhelming”.

Robert Glynn was diagnosed with a form of bile duct cancer in 2020 after going to the GP with severe shoulder pain.

He went on to join an immunotherapy trial at Manchester’s The Christie.

The 51-year-old from Worsley, Salford, said he was “very lucky as I had the cancer for two years and had no idea”.

Mr Glynn, who works as a welder, was diagnosed after suffering severe pain in his shoulder which left him unable to sleep.

He visited his GP and underwent scans and blood tests, but his cancer was only picked up by chance when he got an infection in his gall bladder.

‘Do anything you can’

The day before his 49th birthday, in August 2020, he was told he had intrahepatic bile duct cancer, which was at an advanced stage and had spread to his adrenal gland.

About 1,000 people a year are diagnosed with the cancer every year in the UK, with about 5% living for five years or more after diagnosis.

He was referred to The Christie where he was offered the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of an unnamed experimental immunotherapy drug, combined with standard chemotherapy.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, Mr Glynn said he had changed his life after being diagnosed, losing about five stone (31kg), and was now looking forward to the future

The treatment led to a tumour in his liver shrinking from 12cm to 2.6cm, while the one in his adrenal gland shrank from 7cm to 4.1cm.

This meant Mr Glynn was able to undergo surgery in April.

During the operation, surgeons found only dead tissue, which meant the treatment had killed off all the cancer cells.

Mr Glynn said when he was “given the option to take part in research, I jumped at the chance”.

“You do anything you can to extend your life,” he said.

“I feel very lucky as I had the cancer for two years and had no idea, so getting the all-clear was overwhelming.

“I wouldn’t be here today without the trial.”

‘Life is for living’

Since his operation, he has had no further treatment and his three-monthly scans showed he was completely clear of cancer.

The trial was run by The Christie’s Prof Juan Valle, who said the results of the research and another larger study had been “keenly anticipated by colleagues worldwide as it could lead to a change in how we treat patients like Robert in the future”.

“Robert has done very well on this combination due to his tumour having… a high number of genetic mutations,” he said.

“Most patients with this diagnosis do not have as many mutations in their cancer cells, so the treatment won’t be as effective, but it does highlight the importance of personalised medicine.”

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, Mr Glynn said it had made him “realise life is for living”

Mr Glynn said he had changed his lifestyle after being diagnosed, cutting out “all processed foods” and losing about five stone (31kg).

“I realised you can’t just rely on the doctors to help you, you need to help yourself too,” he said.

“It’s also important to remain positive and not give up. It’s never over until it’s over.”

He said he was now looking forward to the future.

“In an odd kind of way, having the diagnosis has turned my life around,” he said.

“With my partner, Simone, we get out in nature and walk loads.

“When something like this happens, you realise life is for living.”

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