BATTLING Bradley Lowery’s family say they are “devastated” after being told the youngster cannot have the cancer treatment they had desperately pinned their hopes on.
Doctors at London’s Great Ormond Street and Royal Marsden hospitals have said radiotherapy is not an option for the two-year-old neuroblastoma sufferer as he still has cancer left in his body and it could adversely affect his kidneys and spinal chord – or even kill him.
But without radiotherapy, Bradley’s mum Gemma says he has more chance of a relapse.
A charity fund set up to raise £500,000 for treatment overseas in case of a relapse now stands at more than £120,000 - but Gemma stressed that fundraising help is needed more than ever after the setback.
Instead, medics have recommended that Bradley has immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer.
It would see antibodies attach themselves to Bradley’s neuroblastoma cells and hopefully kill them off.
The next step after immunotherapy would be MIBG (meta-iodobenzylguanidine) therapy at either the Royal Marsden Hospital or University College London Hospital, which will see Bradley injected with a high dose of radio-active dye to kill off the neuroblastoma cells.
It would mean Bradley, who still has an inch-long tumour in his stomach, three in his chest and two in his lungs, being kept in isolation for four days.
Gemma, 31, from Blackhall, said: “It’s absolutely devastating hearing that he can’t have radiotherapy.
“We have spent the past three weeks not knowing what the next step would be, but after visiting the Royal Victoria Infirmary on Friday, at least we know the next step.”
But medics must first investigate the source of bleeding in Bradley’s bowel before they can place him on six months of immunotherapy.
Gemma, an NHS health trainer at Healthworks in Easington Colliery, who is married to Carl, 30, and also mum to Kieran, 12, said the £120,000 raised was a “decent” amount but added: “There is still a long way to go.
“It’s massively important now.
“It’s absolutely amazing, people have been excellent.”