Call to make new drug free for eligible cervical cancer patients

The treatment that has been credited with shrinking Vicky Phelan’s tumours should be extended to all suitable cervical cancer patients in Ireland, a leading oncologist has said.

Ms Phelan, the woman whose High Court case exposed the Cervical Check scandal, revealed on Thursday that her tumours had almost halved in size. She credited Pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug that she has been taking since April.

Ms Phelan, 43, from Limerick, was told in January that her stage four cervical cancer was incurable and she would survive for a year with chemotherapy or six months without it. She opted instead for immunotherapy recommended by her oncologist, David Fennelly.

Pembrolizumab is not publicly available for cervical cancer patients in Ireland and costs €8,000 per infusion every three weeks.…

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