• Ian Brooks, 47, was battling a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Had been given just weeks to live after all other treatment options failed
  • Was first person outside out U.S. to try the the drug Brentiximab Vedotin
  • Drug works by destroying potentially deadly cancer cells from the inside
  • Doctor: ‘This is probably the most impressive set of scans I’ve ever seen’
  • Mr Brooks is now clear of the tumours and in remission

Jaya Narain

08:05 EST, 25 February 2014


19:48 EST, 25 February 2014

Ian Brooks, 47, was battling with a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer affecting the immune system

Suffering from a rare and aggressive form of cancer, Ian Brooks was given only weeks to live.

With around 70 tumours throughout his body, doctors admitted they had almost run out of treatment options.

But incredibly Mr Brooks, 47, is now in ‘complete remission’ after he became the first person outside the US to receive a new tumour-busting drug.

These pictures show how far the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma had spread, with almost every area of his body showing clusters of tumours.

But the second scan taken after only a few weeks on the US drug Brentuximab Vedotin shows an amazing improvement.

All the tumours have been eradicated. The only dark spots visible on the scan show the normal functioning of his kidneys and bladder.

The clinical trial at The Christie Hospital in Manchester has been so successful that the drug has been made routinely available to other sufferers.

Now NHS patients with the same rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can get the drug through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer which involves the lymph nodes, with the NHS treating around 1,500 new cases a year. Mr Brooks, an engine repair technician from Bolton, said: ‘I don’t think I would be here today without  that drug.

‘My specialist was so excited when he saw the results that he showed me them straight away. I had 60 or 70 tumours and they had gone.’

He had a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Brentuximab Vedotin targets this strain of the disease and can put patients into ‘complete remission’ when there would otherwise be few treatment options available.

Scans of Mr Brook’s body before and after treatment. The left shows him riddled with 60-70 tumours from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The right scan is 12 weeks after he became the first person outside the U.S. to have a pioneering cancer drug. The black dots are his kidney and his bladder


The drug Adcetris, the trade name for Brentuximab Vedotin, is administered through a drip into the arm every three weeks for up to a year.

Part of a new wave of targeted therapy, it homes in on a protein on the surface of cancer cells, where it sticks and delivers a drug that kills the cell.

It is offered to patients who have no other options left, and trials show that in up to a third of cases it eradicates all signs of the cancer.

It can still come back, but some patients have survived for more than three years, which has led to talk of a possible cure.

Adcetris can have serious or possibly life-threatening side effects including a rare brain infection.

It was given conditional approval by the European drug watchdog in 2012.

Mr Brooks was diagnosed in 2001 and at
first responded well to treatment, but in 2008 the cancer returned. He
had a stem cell transplant, but once again the cancer returned and
spread ferociously.

only weeks to live, he volunteered to take part in the clinical trial.
‘I knew I needed something pretty radical in order to survive,’ he said.

began to show improvements within 24 hours of starting the drug and
consultants at The Christie, the largest specialist cancer centre in
Europe, were amazed when they looked at his scans.

After only 12 weeks of treatment they found his body was clear of tumours and now believe he is in ‘complete remission’.

His doctor, Dr Adam Gibb, a clinical research fellow in lymphoma at The Christie, said: ‘The drug can be administered rapidly and has few side effects.

‘This is probably the most impressive set of scans I’ve seen. Ian was really up against it. He is in remission and we are increasingly confident about him.’

Professor John Radford, research and development director at The Christie, said: ‘Stories such as this illustrate the value of clinical trials. Individual patients can benefit and the knowledge we acquire allows us to move on to the next stage in developing the treatments of tomorrow.

‘I hope that more patients will ask their doctors about clinical trial opportunities.’

Mr Brooks went on to have a bone marrow transplant. This week he was discharged from his treatment at The Christie.

He said: ‘I can’t thank the NHS and the hospital enough. They gave me back my life.’

Mr Brooks before his treatment, with approximately 60-70 tumours from his cancer. He had just weeks to live after all other treatments have failed

A scan of his body after 12 weeks of treatment with the powerful drug Brentuximab. Commenting on Mr Brooks’ scans, Dr Adam Gibb, clinical research fellow in lymphoma at The Christie Hospital, said: ‘This is probably the most impressive set of scans I’ve ever seen’

Mr Brooks with his partner Rose. He said: ‘It feels like I’ve got someone watching over me because after all of the treatment and tumours I’ve had, I’m still here’

Mr Brooks is now clear of the tumours and in remission. He said: ‘I’m massively grateful to everyone who helped me’

Comments (88)

what you think

The comments below have been moderated in advance.



6 hours ago

This news is absolutely wonderful. What a refreshing change to read some good news – this has made my day! Wishing this fella the best of luck and a long, fulfilled life.


Manchester, United Kingdom,

6 hours ago

What an amazing story of hope and I wish this man continued good health. Money that goes in to cancer research and drugs trials is worth every penny in my opinion. It is all of our interests that we continue to fight this disease. The Christie hospital also accepts donations for their amazing work.


Nashville, United States,

6 hours ago

Amazing story, I wish him all the best.



6 hours ago

Great story



7 hours ago

But if u can $100,000 for one course of injections.

Lauren Shepherd,

Glasgow, United Kingdom,

7 hours ago

I’m not usually one for cancer drugs – but this is impressive!!

Jaz Jack. vote ukip!!!!!,


7 hours ago

Brilliant news!


Middlewich, United Kingdom,

7 hours ago

Fantastic , I so pleased for him, just goes to show how research is so important. Lottery money that’s where you need to go!

nomen est omen,


7 hours ago

A single dose is 50mg at £2500, and you typically need a maximum of 16 infusions spaced out at 3 weekly intervals over a year so the total per patient excluding other drugs is £40k per annum.


Poulton le Fylde,

7 hours ago

Amazing story, let’s hope more cures can be found for other cancers.

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