Clinical trials and research

When Nigel Lewis-Baker was told he had advanced prostate cancer, it was too late for surgery or radiotherapy.

When Nigel Lewis-Baker was told he had advanced prostate cancer, it was too late for surgery or radiotherapy as he had probably had a fast-growing form of the disease for several years.

The only choice was one of two types of hormonal treatment. This worked for a while, but the cancer returned and he stopped taking the hormone treatment.

Nigel was then asked if he would like to take part in a trial for a new type of vaccine to treat prostate cancer. After careful consideration, he agreed. ''I thought it might help me, or it might help someone else,'' he says.

He never knew whether he was on active treatment or dummy placebo injections. But he says, ''I hope it was the placebo, because whatever it was, it didn't work for me. My PSA levels (which act as a marker for cancer growth in prostate cancer) started to climb again.''

Nigel was then switched to two types of hormone and the growth of his cancer slowed down again.

He has no regrets about being in the trial. ''I was glad I did it, even though it didn't seem to have helped me personally. I hope the findings will benefit other men. I would certainly not hesitate to do it again.''

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