Cancer sufferer who was told he had 12 months to live SAVED by wonder drug - ‘I feel very lucky’

Robert Glynn
Robert Glynn

Robert Glynn who was suffering from a rare form of cancer said he 'wouldn’t be here' if it were not for the results of the wonder drug

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A man who was told he had less than 12 months to live is now cancer-free thanks to a UK trial of a new drug regime.

Robert Glynn, 51, from Greater Manchester, said he “wouldn’t be here” if it were not for the results of the trial.

Mr Glynn was diagnosed with deadly bile duct cancer after suffering severe pain in his shoulder which left him unable to sleep.

Only around 1,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with it every year and just 5% of people live for five years or more after diagnosis.

Mr Glynn was told his cancer was at an advanced stage and had spread to his adrenal gland.

He was referred to the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Experts offered him the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of immunotherapy.

Before starting the trial, Mr Glynn’s tumour was analysed to check for any genetic alterations in his tumour.

The result showed the tumour had a high mutation burden (large numbers of genetic mutations in the cells), suggesting he may potentially have a good response to treatment.

Mr Glynn was started on an immunotherapy drug which is already approved for use in other cancers, including lung, kidney and oesophageal cancer.

The treatment was combined with standard chemotherapy.

The drug cannot be named due to the experimental nature of this trial for bile duct cancer.

The tumour in his liver went from 12cm to 2.6cm, while his adrenal gland tumour shrank from 7cm to 4.1cm.

Mr Glynn was told his cancer was at an advanced stage and had spread to his adrenal gland.
Mr Glynn was told his cancer was at an advanced stage and had spread to his adrenal gland.

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

Surgeons found only dead tissue which meant the treatment had killed off all the cancer cells.

Mr Glynn said: “I wouldn’t be here today without the trial.

“When I was given the option to take part in research, I jumped at the chance.

“You do anything you can to extend your life.

“I feel very lucky as I had the cancer for two years and had no idea.

“So getting the all-clear was overwhelming.

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

“With my partner, Simone, we get out in nature and walk loads. When something like this happens you realise life is for living,” he told PA.

Since his operation, Mr Glynn has not needed any more treatment and his three-monthly scans show he is clear of cancer.

Further studies are now being carried out with more patients with the hope of changing the treatment of biliary tract cancer.