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Nottingham City Hospital gives Dan Evans, of Newark, suffering from a rare form of cancer, free round of treatment

A teenager with a rare form of cancer has been given a free round of medication by Nottingham City Hospital.

Dan Evans, 18, a former student of Sir William Robertson Academy in Welbourn, was diagnosed with stage four Primary Mediastinal B Cell Lymphoma (PMBCL) in December 2022.

He had chemotherapy, radiotherapy, clinical trials and CAR T treatments, however, all failed and his devastated family was told no more viable treatment was available on the NHS.

Dan Evans is set to start his treatment.
Dan Evans is set to start his treatment.

His family, from Newark, set up a GoFundMe page with a £100,000 target after they discovered a combination of drugs that have proved successful in trial.

So far, £47,000 has been given. People can donate at https://shorturl.at/qruyD

However, Dan has now been given access to the drugs on compassionate use.

This is a treatment option that allows the use of an unauthorised medicine, under strict conditions, to patients who have a disease with no satisfactory authorised therapies and who cannot enter clinical trials.

Dan and Mark Evans at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium
Dan and Mark Evans at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium
Dan Evans
Dan Evans

The programmes are only put in place if the medicine is expected to help patients with life-threatening, long-lasting or seriously debilitating illnesses, which cannot be treated satisfactorily with any authorised medicine.

The family applied for the drug combination and one of the drugs – Nivolumab – has recently been approved by the NHS. They are still waiting for the pharmaceutical company to have the other drug – Brentuximab – approved.

Nottingham City Hospital offered him the first round of Brentuximab for free to get the treatment started.

Dan’s dad, Mark, said: “Regards to Nottingham City Hospital, they are doing everything in its power to make Dan better. It’s great news we are getting it for free but we’re still worried, Dan is so poorly, it is very scary because we want it to work but there’s still the chance it might not work because it isn’t 100% guaranteed.”

Two weeks ago, the family was told to take Dan home from the hospital and make memories, however, a radiotherapy treatment last week was shown to have reduced his widespread cancer by 30%.

Dan Evans at the Newark Town Football Club team
Dan Evans at the Newark Town Football Club team

The teenager, who was due to start the drug combination treatment yesterday, will also have five additional radiotherapy sessions.

Doctors told the family to continue to raise money as the pharmaceutical company has the power of decision over the application.

Mark said: “I am quite apprehensive and I know Dan is a little bit scared, it is great we got it, it’s amazing, but there’s still the worry that it needs to work now.

“The other big worry is even though they have given us a round, I am still nervous about what the pharmaceutical company is going to say.

“If it is yes, that’s great but it worries me it might not work. We are all hoping it does. But if they say no I am worried that I am trying to raise funds and our page has virtually come to a standstill now, most people in this area have donated what they can and because it is so local, I am unable to get it out any further.

“That puts me emotionally in a very difficult situation, a lot of people would probably cheer if we got the medication from the pharmaceutical company for free, but then we raised all this money and it becomes very difficult.”

If the medication gets approved by the pharmaceutical company, people who have made donations can request a refund, or allow Dan to donate it to other charities.

“I thank you all who have already donated, the people who have done or doing their own fundraising for us, the people who have shared our cause and I pray that this may continue to potentially save our Dan’s life, “added Mark.

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