A GRANDFATHER has been chosen to star in a new Cancer Research UK poster campaign which highlights how cancer clinical trials can help save lives.
Vinod Malhotra took part in a trial involving the use of ultrasound after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in October 2006.
Shortly after he turned 60 the Solihull resident went to his doctors with a sore throat – and his doctor decided to carry out a number of blood tests on Vinod, which came back stating Vinod had extremely high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) which is linked to prostate cancer.
A subsequent scan confirmed the father of two had prostate cancer, and his oncologist told him about a clinical trial in London where patients could be treated with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
The 68-year-old said It was an absolute shock when he was given the news and if his doctor hadn’t suggested a PSA test he might be dead right now.
He added: “My ultrasound treatment was as easy as going to the dentist, and I was able to go back to work the next day.
“I know from personal experience that clinical trials are vital, both to people like me who have received treatment, and to future generations.
“I hope that when men and women see my picture in and around Birmingham, it will help them understand that cancer does not have to be a death sentence anymore.
“Today, more and more people are surviving thanks to research, and cancer trials are crucial in helping to develop better and kinder treatments.”
Vinod’s face will not appear at various locations throughout the region including on bus shelters, outside shopping centres and in Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals.
The retired civil servant, who moved to the UK from Kenya in the 1960s, hopes the posters will help people see clinical trials as a normal and essential part of research and treatment for cancer.
The advert highlights the fact that every year thousands of patients like Vinod join clinical trials to help beat cancer sooner.
Cancer clinical trials show whether new tests and treatments are safe, what their side effects are and whether they are better than what is currently used.
Clinical trials are vital for developing treatments that are less invasive, have fewer side effects and give people a better quality of life during and after their treatment.
They can also determine whether people who are at high risk from cancer can have treatments to prevent the disease from developing.
Vinod can now look forward to a healthy life with his wife Veena and grandchildren are Sachin, 10, and Ritika, 13. (s)