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76-year-old cancer patient Tony first in UK to get new treatment under United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s latest clinical trial

A 76-year-old cancer patient is among the first in the world to receive a new treatment under a hospital trust’s latest clinical trial.

Tony has started one of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust’s (ULHT) three phase one research trials for myeloid cancers (which affects the blood and bone marrow), to help determine whether or not the treatment is safe for human use.

This is not his first time taking part in a trial, as he was in one of Boston Pilgrim Hospital’s trials in 2012, after being diagnosed with a different blood cancer.

Professor Rinaldi is the principal investigator for the three trials. Picture: United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Rinaldi is the principal investigator for the three trials. Picture: United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

The trial eventually led to the treatment being approved and becoming routine for patients.

After being diagnosed with secondary myelofibrosis at the end of last year, his doctor, Professor Ciro Rinaldi, asked if he was willing to take part in another trial.

“I know that without having the opportunities to take part in the clinical research trials I would not still be here today,” Tony said.

“I really am so grateful and will never be able to thank Professor Rinaldi and all of the teams enough for all of the extra time and wonderful memories I have been able to create.

“I never realised that these opportunities would be available to me at my local hospital - It really is amazing.”

ULHT is actively involved in clinical research and every year dozens of trials are underway at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals, with hundreds of patients offered the opportunity to be involved.

A dedicated team supports the patients and colleagues taking part in the trials, as well as collecting all of the data.

“I am so grateful for all of the care and support I have received from the haematology, cancer and research teams, as well as everyone else at the Trust who has helped me over the last 34 years,” Tony added.

“I feel I have been extremely lucky to have Professor Rinaldi as my clinician, I honestly believe he came when I needed him most.”

Providing phase one goes to plan, the trial can move to phase two which determines the drug's efficacy and optimal dosing regime, and later phase three, which demonstrates the evidence gathered in the previous trials that the drug is safe, beneficial and an effective treatment - results are then submitted to the regulatory authorities for approval of the drug's release and use on patients.

Professor Rinaldi said: “I am so proud that we are able to bring treatments and opportunities to our hospitals for patients like Tony that would not be possible without our involvement in research.

“By working with our patients and our healthcare partners, we are learning so much more about many diseases and our involvement in research is helping to influence future treatments and will help to save lives.

“We have never had a phase one trial at the Trust and now we have three! It is a momentous occasion, but is only possible thanks to wonderful patients like Tony who are courageous in embracing research. It is also a testament to our amazing team that is involved in research across the Trust.”

Tony says that after his first round of treatment, he is feeling better than before but reminded us that the trial is not about finding a cure but giving him a longer and better quality of life.

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