'Science is moving on' - cancer treatment trial saved Suffolk grandfather

Barry Ambrose, 77, Bury St Edmunds

Barry Ambrose, 77, from Bury St Edmunds is now cancer free after taking part in a trial of immunotherapy medication at the Royal Marsden NHS foundation trust - Credit: Ambrose family

A grandfather from Bury St Edmunds said a nurse at the Royal Marsden hospital "couldn't believe it" when cancer in his throat completely disappeared thanks to a groundbreaking immunotherapy trial 

In 2017, Barry Ambrose, 77, was given the devastating news he had throat cancer which had spread to his lungs - the only treatment available to him was palliative radiotherapy meaning it was a terminal. 

Mr Ambrose, who lives on the Moreton Hall estate, said that once he was given the diagnosis he immediately started looking for alternative treatment options. 

Barry Ambrose and Susan Ambrose

Barry Ambrose has recently got back from a cruise with his wife Susan, a former nurse - Credit: Grenville Wilson

Following a discussion with his GP at the Mount Farm Surgery, in Bury St Edmunds, Mr Ambrose was put forward for a trial at the Royal Marsden in Sutton.

The retired businessman, who used to own and manage a scientific instruments company in Cambridge, said: "The Royal Marsden is one of the leading cancer hospitals in the country, I knew it was the place to be."

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"I was given the news I would be given the immunotherapy drugs on my birthday and I was delighted.

"Only a small number of people in the UK were on the trial and just 50% of those were given the immunotherapy treatment, the other half were given chemotherapy."

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Mr Ambrose, who is recently back from a cruise with his wife Susan, said he was "grateful" to his doctor and the team at the Royal Marsden for getting him on the trial which has saved his life. 

He said: "Within a very short time it got rid of the cancer in my throat, one of the research nurses rang me up and said she couldn't believe it.

"Immunotherapy had very few side effects, In some ways, I felt like a bit of a fraud as I was able to get on with my everyday life even though I had cancer." 

Barry Ambrose

Barry Ambrose from Bury St Edmunds is grateful to his doctor at the Mount Farm surgery in the town for getting him on to a cancer trial at the Royal Marsden - Credit: Barry Ambrose

Following his immunotherapy treatment in the trial, Mr Ambrose went on to have chemotherapy and surgery and is now cancer free. 

Mr Ambrose added: "It is the little things that turn everything around, even though I was told there was no treatment for me science is moving on."

Barry Ambrose

Mr Ambrose is now cancer free - and has regular scans every three months - Credit: Barry Ambrose

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