New drug treatment for Scottish grandfather with ‘super rare’ brain tumours

A grandfather believed to be the only person in the UK to suffer from a super rare form of brain tumour has received new treatment to shrink them.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 11:50 am

According to The Herald, Paul Dornan, 59, knows of only one other person - in California - suffering from the secondary brain tumours, which are the result of kidney cancer, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in May 2017, after passing blood in his urine, and a four-inch tumour was found in his left kidney which was removed during an operation.

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But not all the cancer could be removed due to the proximity to the aorta, the main blood vessel carrying blood away from the heart.

Paul Dornan, 59, knows of only one other person - in California - suffering from the secondary brain tumours, which are the result of kidney cancer, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

And the cancer spread to his abdomen, neck and chest in September 2017, as well as his brain, which were found by chance in May this year.

However a new drug being trialled in Scotland, Keytruda, has shrunk all the tumours.

Grandfather-of-one Paul said: "I usually get scanned from the neck down but, purely by chance, the hospital at Larbert extended that slightly up to my head and they found a number of brain tumours.

"They weren't sure how long they'd been there.

The father-of-three, from Alva in Clackmannanshire, was admitted onto a new clinical trial in May, studying Keytruda in combination with a different drug for advanced kidney cancer - Inlyta (axitinib).

"I have a relatively rare form of kidney cancer called chromophobe and secondary brain tumours resulting from that are almost unheard of.

"I asked Kidney Cancer UK, the charity, if they know of anyone else in the UK with these and they said 'no'.

"I've only managed to find one person in California who has a similar brain tumour."

The father-of-three, from Alva in Clackmannanshire, was admitted onto a new clinical trial in May, studying Keytruda in combination with a different drug for advanced kidney cancer - Inlyta (axitinib).

A follow-up scan 12 weeks later revealed that all the former chemical industry consultant's tumours - not only those in his brain, known as Chromophobe RCC brain metastases. - have shrunk.

Keytruda, also known as Pembrolizumab, is a humanized antibody, that targets a protein found on the surface of lymphocytes called Programmed Cell Death Protein (PD-1).

The drug is given by slow injection into a vein.

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