Keralite nurse in UK diagnosed with cancer given one year to live recovers miraculously with new trial drug
Jasmin David with her family LONDON July 7: A Keralite woman from south Manchester says she feels "reborn" after being told she is free from cancer following a devastating diagnosis. Jasmin David from Fallowfield in Manchester was given less than a year to live after breast cancer spread to her lungs, lymph nodes and chest bone. But after taking part in a clinical trial with experimental medicines at The Christie hospital, she has now been miraculously cleared, a press note from The Christie NHS Foundation said. The previously fit and healthy mother, who worked in a care home for the elderly, discovered she had an aggressive triple negative form of breast cancer in November 2017. Jasmin, 51, became suspicious when she found a lump above her nipple. She then underwent a gruelling six months of chemotherapy and a mastectomy in April 2018, followed by 15 cycles of radiotherapy which cleared her body of cancer. But in October 2019, the cancer returned and scans showed multiple lesions throughout her body meaning she had a poor prognosis. Two months later Jasmin was offered the opportunity to take part in clinical trial at The Christie, where she was given an experimental medicine combined with Atezolizumab, an immunotherapy drug. Doctors have told her she is now showing no evidence of the disease. Jasmin said: "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. "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. "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. "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." Treatment on the clinical trial will continue until December 2023. Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Director of Manchester CRF at The Christie, who is leading on the study in the UK, said: "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." Jasmin is the youngest of nine children of Annamma Jose of Anchanikkal in Pampady, Kottayam. Jasmin and her family moved to the UK in 2002. Jasmine was working as a nurse there. Jasmin had been taking leave from work for the last three years due to Covid. She initially scheduled to return to work from July 1, 2022, but later dropped out. "You have to travel a lot more. I have many desires of my own. All of them have to be fulfilled," says Jasmin. Her husband David, a native of Puthukkad in Thrissur, works as a decommissioning technician in the UK. Riyona and Riyan are university students. While Jasmin’s story is a rare case, it is also the first step into finding an ultimate cure for cancer. This news has come as a light at the end of the tunnel and a ray of hope for many women battling breast cancer.