After receiving an experimental drug, a terminally ill woman with only two months to live is now disease-free.
Eliana Keeling was given months to live after her diagnosis of myeloid leukaemia.— The Christie NHS (@TheChristieNHS) September 6, 2022
After enrolling on a clinical drug trial at The Christie she was put into remission in just six months.
Read her story 👉 https://t.co/li7sa4vzyn#BloodCancerAwarnessMonth pic.twitter.com/lsGeYOCWcL
Eliana Keeling, 65, of Chorlton, Greater Manchester, was shocked in the run-up to Christmas 2020 when a routine blood test revealed she had a rare type of leukaemia.
The retired teacher began chemotherapy on Christmas Day, but was told in May 2021 that her illness was terminal.
Mrs Keeling, refusing to give up, accepted an invitation to participate in a drug trial at The Christie cancer center a month later.
She was given an experimental new cancer treatment that has yet to be named. It was created to take advantage of a chemical flaw deep within leukaemia cells.
The tablet is thought to boost azacytidine, an injection already given to leukemia patients, so it is taken alongside it.
Mrs Keeling’s body was declared cancer-free in December of last year, allowing her to receive a bone marrow transplant. She has been in remission since then.
Mrs Keeling said: ‘When I was told the chemo hadn’t worked and I had a couple of months to live, I knew there was no way I was going to accept that.
‘It was as if a huge hole had opened in my world and everything planned disappeared in an instant.’
Mrs. Keeling was referred for a blood test in December 2020 after experiencing some bruising but no other symptoms or feeling ill.
She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare type of leukemia that begins in white blood cells in the bone marrow.
It affects approximately one in every 200 men and one in every 255 women in the United Kingdom at some point in their lives. Every year, approximately 19,500 new cases are reported in the United States.
On December 25, she began chemotherapy at Manchester Royal Infirmary and received two rounds of treatment before doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her.
Mrs Keeling refused to accept the end result and asked to be referred to The Christie, where she was given the opportunity to testify at the trial.
The drug, which is only used to treat leukemia, does not yet have a medical name.
It was given alongside the standard acute myeloid leukemia treatment azacytidine, which is widely available on the NHS.
She had no major side effects from the treatment and was declared cancer-free before Christmas last year.
Mrs Keeling, a regular gym goer who enjoyed active vacations prior to her diagnosis, recently celebrated her 31st wedding anniversary with husband John.
And she claims that the hospital trial, which she describes as the best thing that has ever happened to her, has given her a new lease on life.