His finacee, Cara De Faye, has enlisted the help of a scientist at the University of Birmingham – Professor Andrew Beggs – as a result
A man is facing a desperate fight for a cancer drug to extend his life – after being denied it following a stage four diagnosis.
Lee Hancock, aged just 38, has the odds stacked against him after being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer.
His finacee, Cara De Faye, has enlisted the help of a scientist at the University of Birmingham – Professor Andrew Beggs – as a result.
Cara has also set up a fundraising appeal to pay for him to search for a cure for Lee and others like him, reports LeicestershireLive.
Encorafenib is a drug that Cara hopes will extend Lee’s life, particularly if surgery stops being an option for cutting back the tumour in his bowels.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which has a leading role in how NHS cash is spent, has recommended against taxpayers’ money being used to pay for the treatment, which costs about Â£1,400 for 48 tablets.
Cara said: “People like Lee with chemo-resistant cancer can be helped by the drug but now NICE is planning on turning it down for NHS funding.
“We had hoped the drug would extend Lee’s life while the research at Birmingham searched for a cure for him.
“There’s a huge amount of money being spent on searching for a Covid-19 vaccine and other research has been put on hold.
“But this isn’t an astonishingly expensive drug and could make a big difference to patients while the research looks for a cure.”
She said she was hopeful Professor Beggs’ work would yield results by the end of the year.
The University of Birmingham Medical School is using a rapid gene-reading machine to try to identify the gene that is making Lee and others like him untreatable with chemotherapy.
Once the right genes are found various drugs and treatments can be used to “switch off” the genes responsible and allow Lee to be treated with chemotherapy.
Cara said that people with stage four, chemo-resistant bowel cancer only had a life expectancy of three to four months once other treatment options ran out.
But she stressed for Lee there was still a hope of further surgery but it was not clear when the options would dry up for him.
She said: “On October 2 he has a review when the doctors who looked at the latest scans will tell us about what happens next.
“But the worry is that the only option he has left soon will be this drug.”
Lee, who runs a marketing company, is currently shielding with Cara at their home in Rearsby, just north of Leicester, and while Lee has been in pain recently, the fundraising has been giving them both hope.
So far more than Â£81,000 has been raised to support the research. Their target is Â£110,000.
Cara said: “About 15 per cent of people with various forms of cancer have this gene that makes their cancer chemo-resistant and that percentage is going up for some reason.
Members of the public can also comment on the NICE appraisal of Encorafenib by visiting https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ta10496/consultation/html-content-2
United Kingdom National Health Service
World news – GB – Man with stage four cancer denied drug which could extend his life