26.01.2023 - 04:09 / dailyrecord.co.uk
A Scots man who is cancer-free after taking part in a clinical trial has welcomed £3.9 million in funding to help further developments in treating the 'insidious' disease. Jim McCallum, 76, from Paisley, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2017 after going to the doctor and hoping he would be told it was a "harmless lump".
Mr McCallum's cancer did not respond well to treatment but, in 2020, he was able to take part in the CAR T-cell therapy clinical trial at the Glasgow Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) in 2020 and is now cancer free. The centre is set to receive about £2.2 million to help doctors develop new cancer treatments for both adults and children, while Edinburgh's ECMC will receive about £1.7 million in funding over the next five years.
Mr McCallum said: "The day I was told it was cancer shook me to the core. I think I had known but you always hope that they tell you it's just a harmless lump.
"That was the worst day, being told I had cancer."
In 2018, Mr McCallum went for chemotherapy, but the cancer did not respond well and he was told it had spread. He said: "After that first shock of diagnosis, I tried never to get too high about progress or too low about the lack of progress."
The retired headteacher was keen to take part in a clinical trial involving cells being taken from his bloodstream, left in a lab to multiply and then injected back into him to attack the lymphoma. Mr McCallum has been routinely monitored for three years and is free of cancer.
"They can't find any trace of the cancer now. I was just so glad they had a treatment I could try and taking part in a trial also has the potential to help others, it's all about gathering information," he said.
"Cancer is such an insidious disease,