17 May 2017 | News
Mel Reynolds took part in the long-term research into drug liraglutide which was used for treating Type 2 diabetes. His enrollment into this clinical trial saved his life.
When blood tests during the trial revealed some worrying signs, Mel Reynolds took part in the long-term research into drug liraglutide which was used for treating Type 2 diabetes.
“As I was on the diabetes trial, at the hospital they used to take my blood and blood pressure and weight every three months, whereas down the doctors it was once a year”, said Mr. Reynolds to Bristol Post.
“When they analysed my blood they discovered I had cancer and I’d had no symptoms whatsoever. “They said if I wasn’t on the diabetes trial I wouldn’t be here now because it would have been too late.”
Mr Reynolds’ wife Jane, 55, said she was initially “dead against” her husband taking part in the trial at Southmead Hospital.
She said: “I just didn’t know what he was putting into his body. They said it was safe and had already gone through all these other trials but you still wonder if it is, so I was worried.
“I always push him to do anything that’s going now.
“We owe more than you’ll ever know. I recommend taking part in research trials to everybody.”
The research was carried out to ensure the drug, which was already used by the NHS, would not cause risks to people with cardiovascular conditions as well as diabetes.
Clinical research trials are funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) with the help of the Clinical Research Network (CRN) and are used to ensure NHS treatments are evidence-based.
Three months into the trial, the regular blood tests showed that Mr Reynolds’ amalayse and lipase were elevated, suggesting there was a problem.
Mr Reynolds underwent surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary two weeks later – he has now been cancer free for five years.
The couple are sharing their story ahead of International Clinical Trials Day on Saturday (May 20), which aims to raise awareness about the trials and recognizes research professionals for their contributions.
NIHR national director for patients and the public, Simon Denegri, said: "At the NIHR we think of patients and the public as an essential part of the research team.