Dad has ‘best possible news’ after cancer treatment

A STAPLE Hill dad who underwent a new cancer treatment in Germany following a £160,000 fundraising campaign has shared some “brilliant” news.

David Gibbs was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive cancer of the brain and spinal cord, in September 2021.

After surgery to remove most of the tumour he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy but was told they would not stop it from growing back.

His family discovered a new treatment, called a personalised cancer vaccine, which uses unique genetic information to help the immune system target and attack the cancer cells.

But the treatment is not available on the NHS and to receive it Dave needed to travel to Germany – and fund the cost.

Family, friends, colleagues and strangers alike supported the appeal, called Dave’s Brain Fund, and he started the treatment in 2022.

After more than 18 months of visits to the CeGaT genetic laboratory in Tübingen, near Stuttgart, for treatment Dave, who is married with a young daughter, told supporters he had been given some “unbelievable” news.

He said: “The tumour has continued to shrink and is no longer visible. Yes, the most brilliant news but with the caveat that the scan (better than anything available in the UK), still can’t see everything, so there may be microscopic cancer cells hiding.

“But the best news we could possibly hope for!

“This isn’t over yet – there are still side effects from the treatment that I am having to deal with.

“Currently I am having injections in my eyes to try to stop retinal damage!

“We don’t know what the next steps are, we would love there to be a test that could tell us it is gone. For now we plan to continue treatment and monitoring in Germany.

“We are currently trying to work out costs to get more vaccines manufactured in Germany and how often to receive them.

“A massive thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way, and for the continued love and support from our wonderful friends and family.

“The battle is not over but we will enjoy this stage while it lasts.”

Dave, 39, said there is no test available that could prove that the cancer had gone completely. 

He urged everyone who has been following his story to support cancer research.

After the campaign was set up by Dave’s sister, Sarah Burford, fundraisers have cycled the length of Britain, run marathons, half-marathons and 10ks, staged shows and events, held sales and bucket collections, and made online donations, with more than 2,200 coming via the appeal’s JustGiving page and several coming from local organisations.