Leicester Pc David Robinson suffers drug setback in his battle with cancer
A police officer has suffered a setback in his fight against cancer after he was withdrawn from the clinical trial of an experimental drug.
Pc David Robinson had responded well to the treatment for almost a year and had received reports the tumours on his brain and spine were receding.
The 31-year-old, who began the treatment at Leicester Royal Infirmary in February last year, returned to work later that year after a series of scans showed the growths were shrinking.
However, earlier this year, it became apparent the cancer had become immune to the drug.
As a result, his doctors decided he was no longer benefiting from taking part in the trial.
David, who celebrated Christmas with his wife Almina and the couple's two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Amelia, will go into the new year facing fresh bouts of chemotherapy as an alternative.
He said: "The trial was brilliant while it lasted.
"For about a year, it went really well and the tumours were shrinking. At one point they were so small you could hardly see them.
"But then the cancer seemed to develop an immunity to the drug and the tumours started to grow again, rapidly."
He has been undergoing chemotherapy for several months, but is continuing to work at Hinckley Road police station, in Leicester's West End.
He said: "At the moment, I'm fine, but a few weeks ago I got bad headaches, blurred vision and started talking gobbledegook.
"I hadn't had chemotherapy for a few weeks at that point and things went downhill pretty fast.
"It highlighted the fact I needed to get back on the chemo again.
"We are playing it by ear at the moment and we will see what the new year brings."
Pc Robinson was diagnosed with the cancer as a teenager. Despite several attempts to beat it, it returned in 2009.
David, who began his career at Mansfield House police station, in Leicester city centre, as a community support officer, had just completed his training as a police officer when he became too ill to work in November 2009.
Originally, he believed he would have to travel to the USA for the treatment but learned in late 2010 that a similar trial was to take place at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The trial drug was developed by American firm Novartis and is known as LDE225. It is also being used in medical trials in the US.
Friends, family and colleagues helped the couple raise £67,000 towards the cost of travelling to the US for treatment.
The money is being held in trust by Leicestershire Police.