Some children with cancer are receiving a new type of drug treatment far less toxic than chemotherapy.
Arthur, 11, is one of the first to try it, at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, for his blood cancer.
His family calls the therapy “a little bit of sunshine”, since it worked without making Arthur feel much sicker.
And because it could be given on the go, rather than just in hospital, he spent more time at home with his family, enjoying more of what he loves.
He carried it with him in a rucksack – his “blina backpack”.
For Arthur, blinatumomab or blina was his only real option after his chemo had failed to clear all of his cancer and had left him very weak.
Blina is already licensed to treat adults with cancer – and experts hope to show it can safely help children too.
Some 20 centres around the UK are using it off-label for children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL).
The drug is an immunotherapy that seeks out cancer cells so the body’s own immune system can recognise and destroy them.
And this death hunt is precisely targeted – healthy cells are untouched, unlike with chemo.