Cancer trials: Taking part in experimental drug studies

Janie Thomas was diagnosed with her first cancer in 1980 and has had the disease in four different areas.

In November 2009 she began a trial of the PARP inhibitor experimental cancer treatment, which applies to patients who have a specific fault in the known cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Her oncologist, Dr Daniel Rea from Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said that the drug was likely to be an "important part of the future treatment of patients with BRCA mutant cancers".

Janie had to leave the trial after her cancer showed signs of worsening, and return to an established drug, but she would like to take part in further studies.

"I know there are no cures for me," she says, "but I hope it will extend my life for a while."

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