healthy and healthy father diagnosed with stage 4 cancer He says he looked like a “nightmare on Elm Street” after his horrific reaction to chemotherapy prevented him from going to his young son’s cricket game because he was too embarrassed. And now we hope to save lives with a breakthrough vaccine.
Jeffrey Seymour, 41, is a procurement specialist who loves to play tennis, basketball and cricket and has always been healthy until he started having blood in his stool just before his 41st birthday.
Jeffrey knew this is a symptom of cancer From the TV ad, I went straight to his GP.
Jeffrey, who lives in Richmond, London with his wife Santa, 44, and son Marco, 10, was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Stage 4 colorectal cancer had spread from the colon to the liver. It is “wrapped in a burning paper bag”.
He also had a poor response to chemotherapy and had severe blisters on the skin on his face that, according to Jeffrey, made him look like Freddy Krueger from the 1984 horror movie. nightmare on elm street.
However, when the chemotherapy stopped working, Jeffrey traveled to Germany to receive dendritic cell therapy to save his life. Dendritic cell therapy creates a personalized vaccine in the lab to stimulate the immune system.
According to Cancer Research UK, research in this area is in its early stages, so treatment has not been cheap. His one injection alone, given in Germany on 17 October, cost him £17,000 and Geoffrey is now waiting to see if it helps enough. He continues his fundraiser to pay for it.
He said, “I couldn’t wait until the fundraiser was over just because I was worried that the disease would spread.”
After three five doses of chemotherapy, Jeffrey decided to find a new approach. The side effects were so bad that he didn’t even want to go out in public to see his little boy play cricket.
“My face had a really bad reaction. It was full of painful blisters that made my face feel like it was on fire,” he said.
“I’ve gotten to a point where it looks like The Nightmare on Elm Street. If I hadn’t gone with a bag over my head, other people would have walked up and looked at me like, ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ . When you are so happy to blend in with the crowd. ”
Jeffrey’s ordeal began in April 2021, just two weeks before his 41st birthday on March 4th.
After discovering blood in his stool, Jeffrey knew it could be a symptom of cancer, so he decided to visit his GP. In late March, he was diagnosed at Kingston Hospital with stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to his liver.
After diagnosis, in March 2021, he underwent five cycles of chemotherapy every three weeks, initially with diminished liver involvement. At this point, he says he felt “optimistic.”
In December 2021, he underwent surgery to remove a third of his liver, and the medical team began preparing for radiation therapy to be used on his colon.
A month later, he had another chemotherapy because a scan found more tumors in his liver. This time it was successful and liver surgery was booked for June 2022.
But just as things were turning around, weeks before surgery, scans revealed progression of the disease. Jeffrey was put back on chemotherapy with another drug and the surgery was cancelled.
After just two cycles, blood tests and scans again showed disease progression, but the side effects were becoming intolerable for Geoffrey.
He said: “The side effects have gotten worse and worse, and now the chemotherapy no longer works and the body has gotten used to it.”
Explaining why he reacted so badly to chemotherapy drugs, he said: I had a really bad reaction on my face to it. ”
Determined to find an alternative, Geoffrey looked online and started his own research and found dendritic cell therapy, but was told it was not available in the UK.
He decided to fly to the institute in Ulm, Germany on October 17, 2022 for a week of treatment. His friends and family have come together to donate to his Go Fund Me appeal, raising over £14,000 and helping pay for the £. 17,000 injections.
“I’m still in pain. I have a lot of pain and I’m trying to find a balanced and very strong drug,” he said.
Geoffrey is scheduled to meet with his oncologist in the UK on November 1st, but is aware that additional vaccinations and further treatment abroad may require the cost of which he has agreed to cover. We continue to raise funds to pay.
Specialist cancer information nurse at Cancer Research UK Caroline Geraghty said: Dendritic cells help the immune system recognize and attack abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.
“To make a vaccine, scientists grow dendritic cells in the lab alongside cancer cells. The vaccine then stimulates the immune system to attack the cancer. It’s still under study. So the evidence base is not yet strong enough to be available in the UK.
“Decisions about the best treatment should be based on solid evidence of benefit, so it’s important that patients talk to their doctors about alternative treatments they may be considering.”
“However, while regulators have increased the speed with which they are evaluating these for routine use in the NHS, unfortunately there are cases where certain drugs are not yet readily available to those who might benefit. There is. I understand how frustrating this can be.”