When Jasmin David, 51, from Fallowfield in Manchester discovered that her cancer had spread to the lungs, lymph nodes and chest bone, she was given the devastating news that she had less than a year to live.
The previously fit and healthy mother of 2 grown-up children, who worked as a clinical lead at a care home for the elderly, discovered she had an aggressive triple negative form of breast cancer in November 2017 when she found a lump above the nipple. She underwent 6 months of chemotherapy and a mastectomy in April 2018, followed by 15 cycles of radiotherapy which cleared her body of cancer.
Then in October 2019 the cancer returned, and scans showed multiple lesions throughout her body meaning she had a poor prognosis.
2 months later, and with no other options left, Jasmin was offered the opportunity to be part of research by participating in a phase I (early phase) clinical trial. In December 2019 Jasmin began a 2-year trial at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. Jasmin was given an experimental medicine combined with Atezolizumab, an immunotherapy drug administered intravenously which she continues to have every 3 weeks.
She is now showing no evidence of the disease and enjoying life with her husband David and grown-up children Ryan and Riona.
Jasmin David, said: “I was 15 months down the line after my initial cancer treatment and had almost forgotten about it, but then the cancer returned. When I was offered the trial I didn’t know if it would work for me, but I thought that at least I could do something to help others and use my body for the next generation. At first I had many horrible side effects including headaches and spiking temperatures, so I was in hospital over Christmas and quite poorly. Then thankfully I started to respond well to the treatment.
“I celebrated my 50th birthday in February 2020 while still in the middle of treatment and not knowing what the future held. 2 and a half years ago I thought it was the end and I now feel like I’ve been reborn. There is a change in my life after returning from India to see family in April and I have decided to take early retirement and to live my life in gratitude to God and to medical science. My family have been very supportive of this decision. I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary in September. I have so much to look forward to. My Christian faith helped me a lot on this journey and the prayers and support from family and friends gave me strength to face the challenge.”
By June 2021 scans showed no measurable cancer cells in her body and she was cancer free. Jasmin will remain on treatment until December 2023.
Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, medical oncologist and medical director of Manchester CRF at The Christie, who is leading on the study in the UK, said: “We are really pleased that Jasmin has had such a good outcome. At The Christie we are continually testing new drugs and therapies to see if they can benefit more people.”