A Manchester man who was told he had just a year left to live has now been given the all-clear from cancer after a groundbreaking drug trial.
51-year-old Robert Glynn from Worsley in Salford is a massive Manchester United fan, enjoys playing snooker, golf, and fishing, and previously worked as a welder before his health turn a took and he went to his doctor with a severe pain in his shoulder that was preventing him from sleeping properly, and eventually developing an infection in his gall bladder.
After several scans and blood tests, Robert got the got the devastating news that he had intrahepatic bile duct cancer back in August 2020 – in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and the day before his 49th birthday.
Intrahepatic bile duct cancer – which is also known as biliary tract cancer – is a rare cancer that forms in the bile ducts inside the liver, with only around 1,000 people in the UK diagnosed with this type of disease each year, and only around 5% of people living for five years or more after diagnosis.
Sadly, not only is there a poor prognosis and few treatment options for this type of cancer, Robert’s cancer was at such an advanced stage that it was now in his liver and had spread to his adrenal gland too.
So, he was referred to The Christie and offered the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial.
After showing an interest in taking part in the trial, Robert’s tumour sample was sent off for molecular analysis to check for any alterations, and it was found that his tumour had a high mutation burden – which means there was large numbers of genetic mutations in the cells – and this indicated that he may potentially have a good response to immunotherapy, which is a type of cancer treatment that helps the body’s immune system fight cancer.
Based on these results, Robert was recommended to start a clinical trial with an immunotherapy drug already-approved for use in the UK, combined with the standard chemotherapy.
The treatment was administered intravenously.
The immunotherapy treatment together with chemotherapy proved so successful that it helped shrink the tumour in Robert’s liver and adrenal gland, and meant he was able to have surgery in April this year, which miraculously found only ‘dead tissue’ and showed that treatment combination killed-off all the cancer cells.
Since the operation, Robert hasn’t needed any more treatment and his three-monthly scans show that he’s now clear of cancer.
“I wouldn’t be here today without the trial,” Robert reflects.
“When I was given the option to take part in research, I jumped at the chance. You do anything you can to extend your life… and it’s important to remain positive and not give up. It’s never over until it’s over.”
Robert said getting the all-clear was “overwhelming”.
He continued: “In an odd kind of way having the diagnosis has turned my life around.
“With my partner, Simone, we get out in nature and walk loads. When something like this happens you realise life is for living.”
Oncologists worldwide are now eagerly awaiting the results of the research into Robert’s case, as this, along with a further study with more patients, could lead to a change in the treatment of biliary tract cancer.
Featured Image – The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
‘Sad news’ – the world’s only Vagina Museum has been forced to close
There’s a museum for just about everything these days (we all remember trips to the Stockport Hat Works museum) – but the world’s only space dedicated to vaginas has been forced to close again.
The world-first Vagina Museum announced this week that it’s had to vacate its premises and has once again been left ‘homeless’.
The museum, which welcomed 40,000 visitors in the 10 months it was open, was founded to raise awareness of the gynaecological anatomy and health, erase stigma, and act as a forum for feminism.
Inside, visitors could browse everything from educational materials to art pieces inspired by vaginas and vulvas – including giant tampons decorated in red sequins.
The Vagina Museum said it was ‘disappointed’ that it has been asked to leave its space, adding that it will continue to operate digitally until it finds a new base.
They wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the museum’s achievements.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture