Deborah James explains why massive bowel cancer trial breakthrough wont help her

Deborah James has explained why she isn't eligible for an exciting new treatment being trialled to help bowel cancer sufferers.

The podcast host and charity campaigner, 40, is currently receiving at-home hospice care for her stage four bowel cancer, five years after she was first diagnosed with stage three of the disease.

The mum of two has raised almost £6.7million for her Bowel Babe campaign over recent weeks, which will be used to fund more research into bowel cancer treatments and awareness.

Deborah has been open with her followers about her experience with the illness as well as sharing news into any breakthroughs in treatment.

On Thursday, she responded to widely reported details of a new clinical trial which has seen impressive results for bowel cancer sufferers with a certain subset of the disease.

On her Instagram story, Deborah shared a screenshot of an article with the title: “Massive breakthrough as cancer ‘disappears’ for all patients in drug trial”.


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Writing around the image, she then added her own thoughts, writing: “Can we talk about headlines and hope! I cannot tell you how many people have kindly sent me this, [this] time [to] do with a Bowel cancer trial.

“The drug is for a VERY specific subset of Bowel cancer peeps. Perhaps only 6% I think (don't [quote] that) have the right type of tumour. And we already know who they are because they are the group where immunotherapy already is producing some really fab results (not like this and not for all).

“The gene is MSI – most bowlies are MSS – and know therefore that it's just not for them…….”

In a second slide, she wrote over the text in pink writing, adding: “For the 6% it offers an uplift of hope on the immunotherapy options that work well but not at this level. For the rest of us, we still have unmet needs.

“There are hundreds of clinical trials going on to try to get immunotherapy to work in the majority MSI Bowel cancer group. But no clear breakthroughs YET! However results like this will then open up trials onto the mainstream subset so that's positive!

“The @bowelbabefund plans to ensure that researchers can speed up the process in things like this. And that patients can trial things early. A headline like this is great. But personalised therapy for all is even better!”

Alongside her fundraising work, Deborah has also been working hard to spread awareness of the symptoms of the disease, calling on toilet paper manufacturers to print information on their packaging.

She is urging manufacturers to add information to packaging after Marks & Spencer confirmed that they would be adding the helpful information to theirs.

Deborah spoke on the need to have bowel cancer symptoms on toilet paper packaging as she congratulated her friend Cara Hoofe in a video message that aired onLorraine , following her successful campaign targeting M&S.

Making a surprise appearance on Tuesday's show, Deborah said: “Congratulations Cara. I'm so pleased that you are talking about the hard work that you have put in, and what you have achieved.

“I know we've both gone through bowel cancer and we've spoken so many times about getting signs and symptoms on loo roll but you finally did it and I am really really proud of you for doing that.

“It's the start of things to come, I think we should now do a big shout out to other companies now, saying come on where's your signs and symptoms.

“Forget about the puppies, I'm bored of the puppies. We need actual information signposted on those loo rolls so I'm hoping lots of other big brands will now go "yeah, hang on, this makes massive sense. This is what we need to be doing.

“I can't wait to see that happen, and a massive, massive well done to you.”

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