We interviewed Ewing sarcoma survivor, Dave Harley, about our first ever immunotherapy research project to find out what the project means to him and the difference he thinks it will make to current patients, knowing this research is happening.
What do you think about the Oncolytic Virus Therapy Project?
As a long term survivor of Ewing sarcoma I find this project very exciting. Not only could the outcome improve survival rates it could also reduce the awful side effects patients undergo during treatment. I am aware that Oncolytic Virus Therapy is currently being trialled for some common types of cancer with promising results, so a positive outcome for this project would be a major step forward for all those involved with bone cancer.
How would you have felt knowing this research was happening when you were diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in the left femur, aged 33 in 1983. Of course, no internet in those days so information was very much limited. A visit to the library informed me that Ewing sarcoma was a rare form of bone cancer. My consultant and his team were very helpful but as I was only one of two patients being treated for Ewing sarcoma, maybe their experience was limited. Not being aware at the time how serious my illness was, and the low survival rate in those days, but had this treatment been happening when I was diagnosed, I would have been first in the queue. Anything to alleviate the horrible side effects of chemotherapy.
What difference do you think it will make to patients knowing this research is happening?
Obviously, this is hope for the future. Having experienced bone cancer personally, I would say any patient or carer would give this project their total support so that one day no one will have to suffer this awful disease.
As a former Ewing Sarcoma patient is there a message you would like to send to our supporters?
I am one of the lucky ones. A long term survivor. 35 years now. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if it was the norm. I would like to thank all the Bone Cancer Research Trust Supporters. By raising funds for research projects such as this we will one day find a cure for this horrible disease. Also a big thank you to the BCRT Team. I had the pleasure of meeting them. Very inspiring!
Click below to read more about Dave's story and the research project - Oncolytic virus therapy for Ewing sarcoma.