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Published on 25 September 2008

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Man dies during cancer drug trial

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Questions have been asked about the safety of medical trials in Britain after a 27-year-old man died when he was given twice the amount of chemotherapy drug he should have been prescribed.

Gary Foster, a graphic designer who was planning to get married this month, died while taking part in the government-funded trial for testicular cancer.

The death has been blamed on a hospital computer system error in setting up the trial.

Mr Foster, from Waltham Abbey in Essex, had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer and was told he had a 60% chance of survival.

He was invited to apply to take part in a trial at University College London Hospital (UCLH) and was told that, if accepted on to the trial, his chances of survival would increase.

The trial, called TE23, was testing whether a combination of five drugs was better at treating testicular cancer than the standard treatment of three drugs.

A coroner ruled that Mr Foster died of the drugs he received at the hospital.

The incident follows the so-called “elephant man” case at Northwick Park Hospital, North London two years ago. In that instant, six men swelled horrifically after they were given the experimental drug TGN1412.

Copyright PA Business 2008

UCLH



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