A robust and healthy father with stage 4 cancer claims that after a dreadful chemo reaction left him too ashamed to attend his young son’s cricket matches, he was left looking like the “Nightmare on Elm Street.” He is now hoping to save his life with a ground-breaking vaccination.
Geoffrey Seymour, a 41-year-old procurement specialist who enjoyed playing basketball, cricket, and tennis, had never experienced any health problems up until a few weeks before his 41st birthday, when he started having blood in his stools.
Geoffrey instantly saw his doctor because he was aware that this was a sign of cancer thanks to television commercials.
Geoffrey, who resides in Richmond, London, with his wife Santa, 44, and their son Marco, 10, was identified as having stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread from his colon to his liver. Geoffrey compared his condition to “being wrapped in a paper bag that is on fire” because it was so dire and seemingly hopeless.
Additionally, he experienced a horrible reaction to the chemotherapy, which left his face covered in severe blisters and, in Geoffrey’s opinion, gave him the appearance of Freddy Krueger from the 1984 horror movie Nightmare on Elm Street.
Geoffrey has traveled to Germany for dendritic cell therapy, where a customized vaccine is made in a lab with the goal of activating the immune system, in an effort to preserve his life after the chemotherapy failed.
According to Cancer Research UK, research in this field is in its early stages, therefore the therapy was expensive. Just one injection, given on October 17 in Germany, cost £17,000, and Geoffrey is now waiting to know if it was enough to help him while continuing to seek money for it.
I couldn’t even wait till the fundraising was over to get it done because I was so afraid the illness would spread, he claimed.
After three sessions of five doses of chemotherapy failed to produce the desired results and left him with side effects so severe that he was unable to watch his little son play cricket in public, Geoffrey was resolved to try a different strategy.
I had an extremely horrible reaction in my face, and it was covered in excruciating blistering that made my face feel as though it were on fire, the man claimed.
“I recently reached the stage when I began to resemble a character from Nightmare on Elm Street. I’d have people approaching me and asking, “What’s wrong with this guy?,” when I’m perfectly happy to blend in with the throng, unless I walked there with a sack on my head.
Just two weeks before turning 41 on March 4 of 2021, Geoffrey experienced his first signs of cancer, which marked the beginning of his battle.
Geoffrey made the decision to see his doctor when he noticed blood in his stool since he was aware that it might be a sign of cancer. He was also identified as having stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to his liver at Kingston Hospital in late March.
He underwent five cycles of chemotherapy every three weeks following the diagnosis in March 2021, which at first helped to lessen the lesions in his liver. He claims that he felt “optimistic” at this point.
He underwent surgery in December 2021 to remove a third of his liver, and the medical staff started preparing him for radiotherapy that would be used on his colon. He even had radio markers tattooed for the laser alignment.
After a scan revealed additional liver tumors a month later, he underwent additional chemotherapy. Since it was successful this time, liver surgery was scheduled for June 2022.
However, just as things seemed to be improving, a scan a few weeks prior to the surgery revealed illness progression. The surgery was postponed and Geoffrey was restarted on chemotherapy with a different drug.
After just two cycles, blood tests and a scan revealed illness progression once more, and Geoffrey was finding the side effects intolerable.
The adverse effects have gotten worse and worse, he continued, and chemotherapy is now just ineffective since the body has grown accustomed to it.
He stated that the chemotherapy medicine “basically eliminates all your fast-growing cells, which includes your cancer cells, but also includes your hair and nails,” which explains why he had a negative reaction to it. That caused an extremely unpleasant reaction in my face.
Geoffrey started doing his own research online, searching for alternatives, and discovered dendritic cell therapy, only to learn that the UK did not offer it.
On October 17, 2022, he made the decision to take a flight to a facility in Ulm, Germany, to have the seven-day treatment. Family and friends came together to donate to his Go Fund Me campaign, which has garnered over £14,000 and covered the cost of the $17,000 injection.
I’m trying to find a decent balance of really strong meds since I still have a lot of pain, he added.
Geoffrey is scheduled to see his oncologist in the UK on November 1, but he is still raising money in case he needs to pay for more vaccinations and treatment abroad.
At Cancer Research UK, Caroline Geraghty, a specialist cancer information nurse, said: “Dendritic cell therapy is a type of vaccine that can treat cancer. Dendritic cells aid in the immune system’s ability to identify and combat aberrant cells like cancer cells.
“In a lab, dendritic cells and cancer cells are grown together to create the vaccine. Your immune system is then stimulated by the vaccine to fight cancer. Since research is ongoing, the evidence base is not yet sufficiently solid for it to be made available in the UK.
Patients should discuss any alternative treatments they may be considering with their doctor since decisions about the optimal course of treatment must be based on solid evidence of benefit.
“Many novel cancer medications continue to demonstrate success in clinical trials, providing possible options for patients with cancer,” she continued. This is due to ongoing scientific advancements.
“But while the pace at which regulators evaluate these for routine NHS usage has improved, there are still, regrettably, instances when specific treatments aren’t yet readily available for those who could benefit. We are aware of how annoying this can be.