A grandmother with advanced bowel cancer has said spoken of a 'miracle' drug which has shrunk her tumours in half.
Terri Hurdman joined a clinical trial at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester for a new drug that targets a specific gene controlling how cancer grows.
The 49-year-old's condition meant that she struggled with simple tasks such as climbing the stairs, walking a short distance or even talking on the phone.
But within hours of trialling the new drug she was climbing stairs with no effort and after three months scans showed her tumours had halved in size.
The medicine is so new it has not been given a name yet, but medics are impressed by its results.
"...it was just a miracle": Terri Hurdman speaks of her delight after scans show her cancer tumours have shrunk while taking the drug.
Terri, who has three children and six grandchildren, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer on Valentine’s Day in 2020 after her GP referred her to Kidderminster Hospital with stomach ache.
She underwent three types of chemotherapy after discovering the cancer had spread to her lungs, which failed to work, and medics told her she had no options left.
She he had lost 1.5st in weight by August 2021 and needed a wheelchair to leave the house.
Her consultant at Kidderminster Hospital knew The Christie was investigating therapies which target the genes and proteins controlling how cancer cells grow and spread.
Ms Hurdman travelled to Manchester and, as soon as she took the first dose of the tablets last October, her condition improved significantly.
She said: “It’s like a miracle. It really is a wonder drug. Within days I didn’t need to use the wheelchair at all, and I didn’t get out of breath climbing stairs, which would have previously led to a coughing fit.
“That day I spoke to my sister on the phone for an hour, something that would have wiped me out before.
“My appetite came back, which made me look so much healthier, and the colour returned to my cheeks.
“I didn’t think I’d make it to Christmas, but now I’m looking forward to celebrating my 50th birthday in July. I feel myself again and I’m able to enjoy life.”
Dr Matthew Krebs, medical oncologist from the Christie and the University of Manchester, leading on the study in the UK, said: “We are delighted at the response Terri has had to this treatment.
“Her scans show that her tumours have reduced by nearly 50% in just three months.
“This is promising for a drug early in its development directed at KRAS mutation that has historically been very difficult to treat.
“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 importance of genetic testing in cancer patients and the potential benefits that clinical trials of new drugs can hold.”
Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year, while 43,000 are diagnosed with bowel cancer.