Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Today is a good day, no it was better than that, much better, today is a GREAT day. I am one step nearer to an important clinical trial I have been anticipating for close to four, long, pandemic years.

During a recent consultation with my current oncologist, Dr Eswar, I (further), expressed my keen interest in pursuing relevant trials and experimental treatments for incurable, advanced, stage 4, prostate cancer.

We discussed delicate, financial implications, protocols and parameters for trial, referrals i.e. a specific trial needs to be identified, an initial GP referral to an oncologist followed by an oncologist referral to the trial. The predominant reasons for such a complex processor are financial, or more specifically, financial accountability, i.e. who is going to pay?

Luckily, I do have previous precedents regarding referral requests via Dr Eswar.

I was previously referred (2019), to Dr Logue, at the Christie Cancer Centre, Manchester, for a ‘second opinion’ regarding potential, SABR treatment. This eventually led to treatment by the Clatterbridge SABR team to remove a secondary, localised tumour reported via a PSMA PET Scan, after experiencing disproportionate symptoms in relation to my current PSA.

I am also currently enrolled on a non-clinical, research trial at the Royal Marsden Cancer Institute studying genetics/DNA and identifiable links with hereditary prostate cancer. This research is of particular importance as I have a 40-year-old son and two baby grandsons with a third grandson on the way. All of whom will have increased risk of contracting prostate cancer potentially, due to my predisposed, fucked-up, genetics. 

The Marsden trial is funded independently with no cost, financial impact to the Clatterbridge Trust, neither my GP nor the NHS. Dr Eswar assisted in my enrolling on the Marsden trial by providing a referral. Referrals for trials are an essential criteria for trial consideration. Without a referral, no trial.

I had identified another, relevant trial.

The first (UK) in-human study of OVM-200 as a therapeutic cancer vaccine NCT05104515. I have been following the NCT05104515 clinical trial since I first became aware of it via as far back as 2019 and all the way thru the pandemic. 

I contacted the Chief Medical Examiner, at Oxford Vacmedix, in charge of the OVM-200 trail, Dr Thomas Morris back in 2019 to enquire about my participation. After examining the trial criteria, together with Dr Morris, he indicated that I might be a suitable candidate for the trial. 

However, as I am located in the Northwest, on Dr Morris’s advice, I have been waiting for the extension (roll out) to the Christie, Manchester. Clearly this has taken far longer than either of us could have imagined back in 2019.

Just a few days ago, Dr Morris, kindly let me know that the NCT05104515 trial is now active at The Christie, with Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite heading it up.

Dr Morris made an introduction and Professor Thistlethwaite emailed and indicated that to be considered for the trial I would need a referral from Dr Eswar. I emailed Dr Eswar via his secretary (it is impossible to have direct access/email with any NHS oncologist/consultant).

This morning, via Royal Mail, I received a copy of Dr Eswar’s referral to the Christie on my behalf (they are not allowed to send such via email), later same day I was telephoned by The Christie Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (ECMT), Karen, to arrange a first consultation with Professor Thistlethwaite, visa vee, my inclusion to the trial.

I am extremely grateful for such a prompt response to this request by Dr Ewar’s secretary, Gill, as there are only 30 places throughout the UK and time is of the essence.

Although my current situation is steady, not desperate, trials are my only option for any cure. Trials are normally reserved (provided) as last chance treatments. My condition, my cancer is incurable, the only genuine chance I have past ten-year survival (currently entering my eighth) is experimental treatments, they are my only potential chance for a cure, for life.

I am another step closer, one foot in the door, I have had to jump through many hoops to get to this point, to stamp my foot many times, to be that annoying, ‘squeaky wheel’. Fingers crossed my consultation, this Thursday, goes well as, so far, USA trial results for OVM-200, although relatively small studies so far, have been extremely successful.

This trial could be a game changer for myself (and others in the future).

Thanks for Reading


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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