Professor Rule is now planning to run a UK study from Plymouth using the latest BTK drug in a trial against standard chemotherapy.
"The next stage will be chemo-free treatment. We've been talking about it for years and now it might be a reality," he explains. "This has the very real prospect of changing the management of these difficult forms of cancer."
Professor Simon Rule runs the only mantle cell lymphoma clinic in Europe, with one other clinic in America. As a leading clinician in mantle cell lymphoma, patients have come from around the world to seek out Professor Rule's expertise.
David Hodge's Story
David Hodge, 74, from Plymouth, was the first person in the world to be treated with this new medication and 12 months on from the start of the trial is feeling the benefits.
Prior to starting the trial in September 2012, David had only several months to live. This was due to his immune system not functioning and also following years of treatment he had become resistant to all other treatments.
Speaking on the first day of starting to take the BTK drug in September 2012, David explained what it meant to him to be taking part in the trial: "I've had three treatments, one chemo and two other treatments and although I've now had CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), for 17 years, which is remarkable really, of course life is very precious and if my life can be extended I'd give God the thanks for that.
"I think with any new trial or drug, or with chemotherapy there's a little bit of trepidation but I'm a Christian and I prayed about this and I got great peace about it. I just felt, even if i
|Contact: Andrew Gould|
University of Plymouth