Deborah James has explained why she is not eligible for an exciting new treatment being tested to help colon cancer patients.
The 40-year-old podcast host and charity activist is currently receiving at-home hospice care for her stage four colon cancer, five years after she was first diagnosed with stage three of the disease.
The mother-of-two has raised almost £6.7million for her Bowel Babe campaign in recent weeks, which will be used to fund further research into colon cancer treatments and awareness.
Deborah has been open with her followers about her experience with the disease and shared news of breakthroughs in treatment.
On Thursday, she responded to widely shared details of a new clinical study that has shown impressive results for colorectal cancer patients with a specific subset of the disease.
On her Instagram Story, Deborah shared a screenshot of an article titled, “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 can’t tell you how many people have kindly sent this to me, [this] time [to] do with a colon cancer study.
“The drug is intended for a VERY specific subset of colorectal cancer patients. Maybe only 6% I think (not [quote] das) have the right type of tumor. And we already know who they are because they’re the group where immunotherapy is already getting some really fabulous results (not like that and not for everyone).
“The gene is MSI – most bowlies are MSS – so they know it’s just not for them…”
On a second slide, she captioned the text in pink type, adding: “For the 6%, it offers a glimmer of hope for the immunotherapy options that are working well but not at this level.” For the rest of us, we still have unmet needs.
“Hundreds of clinical trials are ongoing to try to make immunotherapy work in the majority of the MSI colorectal cancer population. But no clear breakthroughs yet! However, results like this will then open up trials for the mainstream sub-group, so that’s positive!
“The @bowelbabefund plans to ensure researchers can speed up the process on things like this. And that patients can try things out early on. A headline like that is great. But personalized therapy for everyone is even better!”
Alongside her fundraiser, Deborah has also worked hard to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease, urging toilet paper manufacturers to print information on their packaging.
She is urging manufacturers to add information on packaging after Marks & Spencer confirmed they would add the helpful information to theirs.
Deborah spoke about the need to have colon cancer symptoms on toilet paper packaging as she congratulated friend Cara Hoofe in a video message that was broadcast Lorraine after her successful campaign for M&S.
In a surprise appearance on Tuesday’s show, Deborah said: “Congratulations Cara. I really appreciate you sharing the hard work you put in and what you have achieved.
“I know we’ve both been through colon cancer and we’ve talked about getting signs and symptoms on the loo roll so many times, but you finally made it and I’m really very proud of you for doing that.
“It’s the beginning of things to come, I think we should give other companies a big shout out now and say come on, where are your signs and symptoms.
“Forget the puppies, the puppies bore me. We need up-to-date information to be posted on those loo rolls, so I’m hoping a lot of other big brands will now be like, ‘Yeah, wait a minute, that makes a lot of sense. That’s what we have to do.
“Can’t wait to see this and kudos to you.”
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