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Plea over in-trial leukaemia drug


A father whose son has leukaemia has mounted a last-ditch bid to secure a drug still under trial, believing this will give his child a chance of survival.

Charles Afolabi, 49, from London, UK, wants his son Tomi to be given nelarabine, used in the USA for patients who have not responded to chemotherapy but still the subject of phase II trials in the UK by drug firm GlaxoSmithKline.

Four-year-old Tomi has between three and six weeks to live, but healthcare staff are refusing to give him the drug as the side-effects, which include convulsions and neurological problems, could kill him.

Mr Afolabi is now appealing for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to agree to put his son on the pilot study, despite the risks.

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His son’s records show that one healthcare professional believes it “makes sense” to use the drug, citing cases where it has been successful.

The hospital, “the largest centre for research on childhood illness outside the USA” is working with the family to resolve the problem.

A spokesman said: “The central issue is the best interests of the child, and we must consider the best available evidence regarding treatment.”

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Great Ormond Street Hospital


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