Hereford & Worcester

Oscar Saxelby-Lee 'cancer-cell free' after treatment

Oscar Saxelby-Lee, from Worcester in Singapore Image copyright Family handout/Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust
Image caption Oscar still needs another bone marrow transplant and is a long way off full recovery, his family said on social media on Thursday

The family of a five-year-old boy with leukaemia said he is now cancer-cell free after receiving specialist treatment in Singapore over Christmas.

Oscar Saxelby-Lee, from Worcester, flew with his parents for CAR-T therapy, with the help of £500,000 raised to pay for it through crowdfunding.

"No leukaemia has been detected in his blood or bone marrow at all", a charity which supported the boy said.

His mother Olivia said the family was "rejoicing this magical time".

Mrs Saxelby previously said that the therapy, which was not available to Oscar on the NHS, is specifically developed for individual patients and involves reprogramming their immune system cells, which are used to target the cancer.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Oscar's parents posted on their Facebook page about the news on Thursday

Posting on social media on Thursday, the family said Oscar had gone from "his disease (being) too aggressive and starting palliative care" to having "no disease detected", also known as as Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) at 0%.

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester earlier, Mrs Saxelby said the news was "incredible", adding: "It hurts us to experience such positivity at the moment because we still have got a battle to win and there's a lot of uncertainty, but my god we have flown halfway across the world for a reason."

Oscar is to undergo a further bone marrow transplant soon.

Charity The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, which supported the family's fundraising, said the treatment had "done exactly as it was hoped to do" adding that it welcomed the news as "the children of today all deserve a tomorrow".

The CAR-T therapy is the same treatment that Zac Oliver, from Shropshire, underwent for his leukaemia.

Oscar had been treated at Birmingham Children's Hospital for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia since December 2018.

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