Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Hope for asbestos cancer woman

Debbie Brewer
Debbie Brewer wants her treatment brought to the UK

A woman who was given only months to live after contracting cancer two years ago is in remission thanks to pioneering treatment in Germany.

Debbie Brewer, 49, from Plymouth in Devon, was diagnosed in November 2006 with mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

She won six-figure compensation because her illness was caused by hugging her father who worked with asbestos.

She spent the money on treatment at The University Clinic in Frankfurt.

I have been given my life back
Debbie Brewer
Mrs Brewer was told by doctors that she had between six and nine months to live when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

But after a tip from a doctor, she refused chemotherapy and instead travelled to the Frankfurt clinic.

It uses a treatment known as chemoembolisation, more commonly used to fight liver cancer, which introduces chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumour area through a catheter into the lung.

Now specialists have told Mrs Brewer the tumour has shrunk by more than half, is in remission and will not come back.

Mrs Brewer, who has three children, Siobhan, 22, Richard, 19, and Kieran, 11, said it was a "miracle".

She said: "It feels like I have been given my life back.

"After I was first diagnosed, the chance to see the children grow up, to see grandchildren, I thought I had lost all of it.

"Not even a lottery winner could feel like this.

"I haven't taken it all in yet but at the moment it is my little miracle."

Now Mrs Brewer has started a campaign to have the treatment, which costs 3,500 a session, brought to the UK for trials.

She said: "I want to give people hope.

"I was told for mesothelioma there is little out there but the results in Germany are fantastic - it's about a 60% success rate.

"I didn't think I would see my youngest go to senior school, now I'm going to be enjoying Christmas with them."

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