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Following a clinical study at a UK hospital, a woman of Indian origin who was given only months to live a few years ago is now celebrating as doctors report she is displaying no evidence of breast cancer. After the National Health Service (NHS) trial was a success, Jasmin David, 51, of Fallowfield in Manchester, is now looking forward to her 25th wedding anniversary in September.

Atezolizumab, an immunotherapy drug administered intravenously, was combined with an experimental drug during David's two-year trial at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at Christie NHS Foundation Trust. She still receives this medication every three weeks.

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“I was 15 months down the line after my initial cancer treatment and had almost forgotten about it, but then the cancer returned," recalls David.

“When I was offered the trial, I didn’t know if it would work for me, but I thought that at least I could do something to help others and use my body for the next generation. At first, I had many horrible side effects including headaches and spiking temperatures, so I was in hospital over Christmas and quite poorly. Then thankfully I started to respond well to the treatment," she said.

The mother of two adult children, who was formerly active and in good health, held the position of clinical lead at an aged care facility. She spotted a lump above the nipple in November 2017 and later learned that she had an aggressive triple negative form of breast cancer.

In April 2018, she endured a mastectomy, six months of chemotherapy, and 15 cycles of radiation therapy, which completely rid her body of cancer. The cancer then came back in October 2019, and scans revealed many lesions all over her body, indicating a terrible outlook.

The cancer had spread to the lungs, lymph nodes and chest bone and she was given the devastating news that she had less than a year to live. Two months later, and with no other options left, David was offered the opportunity to be part of research by participating in a Phase I clinical trial.

“I celebrated my 50th birthday in February 2020 while still in the middle of treatment and not knowing what the future held. Two and a half years ago I thought it was the end and I now feel like I’ve been reborn," said David.

“There is a change in my life after returning from India to see family in April and I have decided to take early retirement and to live my life in gratitude to God and to medical science. My family have been very supportive of this decision. I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary in September. I have so much to look forward to," she said.

“My Christian faith helped me a lot on this journey and the prayers and support from family and friends gave me strength to face the challenge," she added. By June 2021, scans showed no measurable cancer cells in her body and she was deemed cancer free. She will remain on treatment until December 2023 but continues to show no evidence of the disease.

“We are really pleased that Jasmin has had such a good outcome. At The Christie we are continually testing new drugs and therapies to see if they can benefit more people," said Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, medical oncologist and clinical director of Manchester CRF at The Christie.

(With PTI inputs)

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