Bromsgrove: Clinical trials cancer patient hails drug – BBC


A cancer patient has hailed "a wonder drug" after getting a treatment targeting a gene that controls how the disease grows.
Terri Hurdman, 49, said she was left exhausted and out of breath by walking even short distances.
But according to an NHS trust, she was climbing stairs with no effort within hours of trialling a new drug.
After three months of the treatment, scans of Ms Hurdman's tumours showed they had halved in size, it added.
The resident of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who has three grown-up children and six grandchildren, found out she had advanced bowel cancer on Valentine's Day 2020.
She was diagnosed with stage 4, the most advanced-stage colorectal cancer, which had spread to her lungs.
Her consultant at Kidderminster Hospital knew Manchester-based Christie Trust was running early-phase clinical trials which used targeted therapies – a type of cancer treatment that targets the genes and proteins that control how cancer cells grow and spread.
It was found Ms Hurdman had a mutation in the KRAS gene of her cancer and there was a new international trial "designed specifically for people with the gene mutation that Terri has", the trust explained.
The patient, who took the first dose of the tablets last October, said: "It really is a wonder drug. Within days I didn't need to use the wheelchair at all.
"I spoke to my sister on the phone for an hour, something that would have wiped me out before."
Previously, three types of chemotherapy had not worked and by August last year, Ms Hurdman had lost a stone and a half in weight and said she did not think she would see Christmas.
Dr Matthew Krebs, medical oncologist from The Christie Trust and The University of Manchester, said her tumours had since reduced by nearly 50% in three months.
He stated this was "promising for a drug early in its development directed at KRAS mutation that has historically been very difficult to treat".
Dr Krebs added: "It targets only a specific sub-type of KRAS mutation, and a similar drug has already been approved for patients with lung cancer.
"There's much more work to do before this drug may be available routinely for patients, and not everyone will respond in this way, but Terri's case highlights… the potential benefits that clinical trials of new drugs can hold."
Ms Hurdman said: "My appetite came back, which made me look so much healthier, and the colour returned to my cheeks.
"I'm looking forward to celebrating my 50th birthday in July. I feel myself again."
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