Research team in the spotlight again

Published 11 February 2021

The work of our research team was in the spotlight again this week thanks to coverage of a study looking at a new treatment for people with a type of cancer.

Patient Tony Smith, 70, shared his story with the Kent Messenger after taking part in the trial looking at the effectiveness of an immunotherapy drug against mesothelioma.

Tony was one of 332 people who took part in the trial, which found the drug – nivolumab – increased survival and made the disease more stable for patients who relapsed after other treatments such as chemotherapy.

The CONFIRM trial is led by researchers in Southampton’s clinical trials unit and funded by Cancer Research UK, and was supported by the Oncology Clinical Trials team here in EKHUFT.

Patients were given nivolumab or a placebo once a fortnight for up to a year.

The study is the first to show that a treatment has been able to improve survival in patients with mesothelioma that has come back after chemotherapy.

Mr Smith said: "The transformation has been just wonderful – truly amazing. I could hardly walk when I started the CONFIRM trial but taking part took me back to how I was pre-diagnosis.

“I feel lucky to have taken part in research that has not only really helped me but will help other people in the future. It’s wonderful to hear there have been such good results – we should be shouting this from the rooftops.”