Thursday, February 05, 2009

'Miracle drug' provides ray of hope in Jade's desperate fight to stay alive

Cancer-stricken Jade Goody has been given a ray of hope in the form of a new 'miracle drug'.
The 27-year-old, who is fighting for her life after being told the disease had spread to her bowel, groin and liver, is to begin a two-month course of Topotecan.
Jade said last night: 'It has given me a glimmer of hope.'
And a family friend told the Sun: 'We hope it'll keep Jade with us a long time.'
Professor Martin Gore, medical director at the Royal Marsden Hospital, told Jade he wanted to start her on Topotecan, also called Hycamtin, after conventional chemotherapy failed.
The drug will probably be administered via a drip while the Big Brother star continues her chemotherapy.Based on a substance found in a Chinese tree, Topotecan was given the green light in 2007 after successful trials.It is normally given in only in advanced cases of cervical cancer and is seen as the last line of defence.The drug works by blocking an enzyme that can strengthen cancer cells, and a scan will show if the tumours are responding.
Side-effects can include bruising, bleeding, tiredness and sickness.The mother-of-two will undergo three weeks of chemo and Topotecan, before taking a week's rest and continuing with three more weeks of treatment.Her publicist Max Clifford said of the drug: 'People in the same situation who have taken this drug have seen encouraging results.''The information that was given to her left her thinking there was no way forward.The Big Brother star says she is 'frightened and angry''But this has given her a glimmer of hope. At the end of the day she is a young woman with two children and she is going to do everything in her power to prolong her life.'After hearing news that the cancer had spread Jade sobbed 'I don't want to die'.Earlier this week doctors said that the extent of her cancer was so bad that they are focusing on keeping her alive for as long as possible rather than pursuing a cure.'I am devastated,' Miss Goody said yesterday. 'I am frightened and I am angry. I don't want to die because I have so much to live for.'The reality is I have gone from a 40 per cent chance of a cure to seeing how long I can stay alive. The whole thing is so absolutely terrifying.'
The mother of two was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer last August and underwent emergency surgery to remove a large tumour, her womb and her ovaries.Since then, she has had several bouts of chemotherapy, causing all her hair to fall out.Only 15 per cent to 30 per cent of women with stage 4 cervical cancer will live longer than five years.Doctors had told her she had a 40 per cent of survival but have now scrapped this estimate since discovering the cancer has spread.Jade, who made her name on the 2002 series of Big Brother, is preparing a will and has told close family members to expect the worst.Her boyfriend Jack Tweed, 21, is said to be 'numb' at the news, while her mother Jackiey Budden, 50, has been 'in pieces' at her bedside.
Her two sons, five-year-old Bobby and Freddie, four, are staying with their father, TV presenter Jeff Brazier.
Miss Goody first had pre-cancerous cells removed at 16 and has since suffered a series of collapses.Three years ago, she was admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, with stomach cramps.But it was not until August last year, during filming of the Indian version of Big Brother, that she was told she had cervical cancer.She later admitted she had ignored a hospital letter warning her that she needed treatment after a fourth smear test came back as abnormal.
She said she had hoped the disease would go away on its own and that she needed to appear on Big Brother to collect a £100,000 fee.