A British woman who was given one year to live is now breast cancer-free after taking part in the successful clinical trial of a new treatment. Doctors diagnosed Jasmin David, 51, with an aggressive form of breast cancer in November 2017 after discovering a lump in her nipple.
After a series of tests, the doctors discovered cancer in her lungs, chest plate, and lymph nodes, as well. Typically, patients with David’s type of cancer only live for a year, even with treatment.
Instead of accepting the diagnosis, David and her family decided to fight for life. She began an intense round of chemotherapy that lasted six months; and later underwent a mastectomy in April 2018. An additional 15 cycles of radiation helped clear whatever cancer remained; but the tumors returned less than a year later in 2019.
With few options remaining, David agreed to partake in a clinical trial of a new medication combined with common immunotherapy drug Atezolizumab. She injected the combination every three weeks; and two years later, the mother of two is completely cancer-free.
David said she wasn’t sure if the trial would work for her, but that it was “something to help others and use my body for the next generation.”
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide
The therapy did come with some side affects like headaches and high temperatures.
“I was in hospital over Christmas and quite poorly. Then thankfully I started to respond well to the treatment,” she said. “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.”
David will continue administering the treatment through the end of 2023, at which point doctors will reassess her situation.
Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, clinical trial lead and oncologist at The Christie, where David received her experimental treatment, said she is happy for the positive outcome.
“We are really pleased that Jasmin has had such a good outcome,” Thistlethwaite said. “At The Christie we are continually testing new drugs and therapies to see if they can benefit more people.”
Over two million people are diagnosed with breast cancer annually worldwide.