Cancer man Mike Brandon 'clears hurdle' in US cancer treatment

Kate and Mike Brandon Image copyright Brandon family
Image caption Kate Brandon thanked people for their "kindness, care and compassion"

A man with a rare type of leukaemia whose wife raised £400,000 to cover his medical costs in the USA has "cleared an enormous hurdle" in his treatment.

Mike Brandon, 31, from Bristol, is being treated in Philadelphia after his British consultant said all NHS treatment routes were "exhausted".

His wife Kate said: "After an agonising three months Mike's initial bone marrow biopsy test has come back clear."

She said she "wanted to share the wonderful news".

Mike Brandon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia two years ago.

In May, his wife raised enough money using a social media campaign, to fund his participation in cancer trials at the University of Pennsylvania.

Image copyright Brandon family
Image caption The Brandons flew out to Philadelphia in May for the "revolutionary" cancer treatment
Image copyright Brandon family
Image caption The CAR T-cell therapy treatment is being carried out at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Centre

Kate Brandon, 33, said: "Prior to starting the therapy Mike's bone marrow was almost completely made up of leukaemia cells. Twenty-eight days later there were none.

"This is a great first step showing that the T-Cell therapy is doing exactly what we hoped it would.

"We still have quite some distance to go in our journey, but we are currently filled with huge relief to have cleared such an enormous hurdle."

The CAR T Cells Trial uses genetically-modified T cells to treat patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The patient's own immune cells - T cells - are removed and genetically modified by infecting them with a virus. The modified cells are then grown in the laboratory and re-infused into patients in the hope they will target and kill blood cancer cells.

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