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East Lancs cancer battler Sam Shaw receives final immuntherapy dose
10:00am Saturday 12th April 2014 in News
CANCER battler Sam Shaw was today getting used to life without treatment after having his final dose.
The five-year-old from Hoddlesden had his last oral dose of immuntherapy at his Glencoe Avenue home yesterday.
A public appeal raised the £250,000 needed to fly Sam out to Philadelphia for treatment after he was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma last year.
He started chemotherapy immediately after his diagnosis last January and had been receiving intense treatment ever since.
In March this year he returned after a four-month stay in the US where he received the first of five courses of immunotherapy, a treatment which is unavailable in this country.
Mum Christine said: “The last round was just an oral treatment and yesterday was the very last day.
“This final round lasted for two weeks and now that is the end of it.
“Sam will have a round of scans on April 23, 24 and 25 and we just have to cross our fingers.
“We will get the results the following week.”
If the scans show that Sam’s cancer hasn’t returned, he will spend the next few years of his life having regular checks.
Mrs Shaw said: “If the results are all clear we will be breathing a big sigh of relief.”
After the scan results, Mrs Shaw said the first two years were when Sam would be at the highest risk of the cancer coming back.
But if he remains all-clear for seven years, when Sam will be 12 and in his first year at high school, it is ‘unlikely’ to return.
Sam, who had a couple of taster sessions at St Paul’s Primary School in the village recently, will finally start school after the Easter break, although the scans mean he will have to take time out after just one day.
And mum Christine said going to school had seen the removal of his feeding tube.
She said: “We took it out then and he has never had it back in.
“He had to have it in because he didn’t have an appetite and wasn’t eating.
“But he has been eating better and actually wanting food, enough to keep his weight up, which has been great to see.”
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