Grandfather hails 'miracle' recovery

PUBLISHED: 09:04 09 September 2011

Ely Cancer Survivor  Brian Brookes, at his home with his dog Ruby

Ely Cancer Survivor Brian Brookes, at his home with his dog Ruby

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A GRANDFATHER from Stuntney who was given just 12 months to live is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a groundbreaking procedure that killed his tumours in just two treatments.

A year ago this week, 72-year-old Brian Brooks was hit with the devastating news that he had bowel cancer after visiting hospital for a routine scan, with further tests revealing that the disease had spread to his liver.

The cancer had consumed more than 80 per cent of his liver and Mr Brooks was told by doctors that it was inoperable.

Twelve months later, however, Mr Brooks is now cancer free and has hailed his recovery as a “miracle” while doctors and experts have been left staggered by his progress.

“From 12 months ago when things were looking quite bleak to being given the news that the cancer had gone is fantastic,” said Mr Brooks. “It’s very hard to put in words, I’m just so happy that I can now get on with my life. My wife and I really believe that it is a miracle.”

Mr Brooks’ remarkable recovery was brought about by a pioneering trial treatment called radioemoblisation, which saw thousands of tiny radioactive spheres fired directly at his liver, killing the tumours in just two treatments.

The spheres, which are just a third of the width of a human hair, are targeted at the blood vessels which supply the tumour, blocking its supply before delivering a dose of radiation.

The retired boarding kennel owner, was told about the trial following a chance conversation with a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and he immediately put his name forward.

Brian and his wife Nicky, 67, both members of the Fordham Congregation Church, were on their way up to Chester on holiday when he received news that he had been one of only 40 people selected at random to take part in the trial, which started on November 17 last year.

Four months after the two-day procedure had taken place, Brian was told his liver tumours had been successfully treated and was then cleared to have a course of chemotherapy on the tumours in his bowel.

Following 11 sessions of chemotherapy, Brian had the tumour on his bowel removed and is now back at his home on Nornea Lane, having been told the all clear from doctors.

“We would just like to thank all the staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital who have been absolutely fantastic. I know you can never say that the cancer has gone for good but the support they have provided has been excellent.”

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