New drugs give lease of life to cancer patient Peter – and are now available on NHS

Peter Waite

Peter Waite - Credit: Archant

A car mechanic diagnosed with terminal cancer has been given a new lease of life thanks to revolutionary treatment which has now been approved for general use.

Peter Waite, 63, from School Lane, Preston, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2014 – but was included in trials for a combination of new drugs called nivolumab and ipilimumab.

Drug approval watchdogs at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence approved the drugs for wider use last week with experts welcoming it as a ‘step change’ in skin cancer medicine.

Previously patients given a terminal diagnosis could only expect to live for a few months.

But the trials showed 69 per cent of those given the drugs survived for two years – with 22 per cent having no detectable tumours left.

Peter, a father of two with three grandchildren, told the Comet: “In 2011 I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma which saw the removal of a kidney and the lower half of my right lung. I was then checked regularly.

“The cancer returned and I was diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and was told I was terminal cancer in October 2014.

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“We’re a very positive family and we did our crying and then decided to live life to the full.

“But in April last year I was offered a place on the trials which I grabbed with both hands. I thought even if it doesn’t work for me, the research might help others.”

And Peter, who works at JWJ Car and Commercial in Codicote Road, between Codicote and Welwyn, says the new treatment has certainly worked wonders.

“The results have been good,” he said. “It’s given me a new lease of life. I’ll never be cured but it’s stopped the growth of any new tumours and shrunk two out of three of the ones I have by 30 per cent.

“I feel fit as a fiddle and muck in with the boys at work at JWJ Car and Commercial. There’s been no side effects and I’ve worked through the whole process. The drugs will give a fantastic amount of hope to many people. I just want to watch my grandchildren grow up.”

His wife Frances added: “I’m really proud of him. I might be a bit biased but he’s my hero. He’s been so brave.”