Cancer Vaccine Institute

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'I am delighted to be in remission.'

Four years ago, whilst on holiday a friend pointed out that she did not like the very dark colour of a mole that was behind my ear. On returning I made an appointment to see a skin specialist who looked at the mole and said it should be excised and seemed keen to book me into the day surgery that day. Two weeks later I had the mole removed and was notified it was a malignant melanoma.

In September 2009, whilst undergoing a routine 3 monthly check I was found to have a second malignant melanoma. A sentinal node biopsy was found to be positive in both axilla. It was also found to contain metastatic deposits of melanoma. This was devastating news for me as this was not what was expected from a thin melanoma.

I was given several options, and decided to have one lymph gland removed and leave the other one, thus qualifying for the min tub trial (ultrasound every 3 months) and clinical trials such as avastin.

In June 2010, Professor Dalgleish administered the first BCG vaccine.

I am now delighted to be in remission. I have regular checks with both the Oncology and Melanoma Clinics.

I am so grateful to my doctors, including Professor Dalgleish and all at the CVI. As my way of saying “thank you”, I organised a fundraising bike ride to Paris from Thames Ditton (360 miles!). I enlisted 10 other riders to take part and was delighted to raise £10,000 for the CVI. I also wanted to raise awareness of this amazing charity whose research really makes a difference – more people need to know about it.

Tony Lee

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