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Thursday, 25 January, 2001, 13:22 GMT
'My hope for Thalidomide cure'
Margaret Edwards
Cancer patient Margaret Edwards trials new combination drug
When Margaret Edwards was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer last September she was devastated to be told it was too late to operate.

The mother of three from Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, was told the cancer had spread too far and she had secondary tumours in her brain.

Her only hope was to take part in Dr Siow Ming Lee's Thalidomide tests at Middlesex Hospital.

The world's first patient trial is using a drug combination of Thalidomide and chemotherapy to treat small cell lung cancer, the most deadly form of lung cancer.

Mrs Edwards said that when doctors told her she was too late for surgery she was desperate for a lifeline.

"I was absolutely devastated. I asked for a second opinion and saw another doctor who confirmed that my cancer had spread too far to operate.

"I asked if there was anything I could do and she said that she would put me in touch with Dr Lee who was doing trials at Middlesex hospital," she said,

Mrs Edwards now has to take one tablet of Thalidomide every night for the next two years. She is also undergoing a course of six chemotherapy sessions.

Main hope

Mrs Edwards says she is aware of all the problems associated with Thalidomide, but knows it is her main hope.

"As far as I can tell they haven't given me any problems at all. However I also have to go for chemotherapy at hospital every three weeks and so far I have had four treatments.

"I have anti-sickness tablets to take at home afterwards, but sometimes I've still been terribly sick.


My cancer had spread too far too operate

Margaret Edwards
"My hair has thinned too, but I knew the side effects before we started," she said.

Mrs Edwards said hoped the trials would cure her and provide a hope for others in the same situation.

"Of course I hope that the treatment will help with my cancer, but I also want to do what I can to help others.

"If more people went on the trial we'd be closer to a cure," she said.

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See also:

25 Jan 01 | Health
Thalidomide is 'cancer weapon'
28 Nov 00 | Health
Nicotine linked to lung cancer
25 Sep 00 | Scotland
Lung cancer tops women death table
02 Aug 00 | Health
UK lung cancer deaths halved
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