Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 19:38 UK

Cancer drug death 'like murder'

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Man dies from trial overdose

The mother of a 27-year-old man who died during a cancer drugs trial said she felt like he had been murdered.

Gary Foster, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, was given double the amount of chemotherapy he should have been prescribed for testicular cancer.

His mother Coleen Foster said he was due to get married this month and had everything to live for.

University College London Hospital blamed the death on a computer system error in the set-up of the trial.

The hospital said it had reviewed its drugs testing procedures and processes and had "made all appropriate changes to improve patient safety in response to this accident".

Procedures reviewed

Another cancer patient who was also exposed to an overdose during the drug trial has survived.

But Ms Foster told BBC London: "I know he wasn't murdered but I really, really feel in myself that he was murdered.

"Everyday that he is not here, I cannot believe it, it feels like he has been murdered.

"My neighbour was saying to me before, 'Good news Coleen, Gary's got his last treatment, you are going to have the best Christmas ever' - it was the worst Christmas I've ever, ever had in my life.

"I just hope this does not happen to anyone else because what has happened to us has changed us completely and we are never going to be the same."

The family has said it was taking advice on what legal steps could be taken.

In a statement, University College London said Mr Foster, who owned his own graphic design business, suffered from "very widespread testicular cancer", and had been treated at the hospital since he was referred last June.

"He was treated intensively and, despite an initial improvement in his condition, died as a result of drug toxicity," the statement read.

Two weeks ago a coroner had ruled Mr Foster died of the drugs he received at the hospital.


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