A GRANDMOTHER has a new lease of life after taking advantage of a pioneering cancer treatment.

Sylvia Lewis had been battling lung cancer for more than six years before she was given the opportunity to take a new drug months its official approval by NHS bosses.

The treatment at James Cook University Hospital resulted in the cancerous growth reducing in size and leading to a dramatic improvement in her health.

The 78-year-old, from Brotton, east Cleveland, has never been a smoker so was shocked when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 after becoming increasingly breathless.

Due to the way the cancer was developing, the pensioner was deemed suitable to receive a tablet-based treatment.

These tablets have often proven more effective than chemotherapy but can eventually stop working.

Mrs Lewis was able to start taking a new drug called Osimertinib in June last year – four months before it was approved for general NHS use.

Consultant oncologist Dr Talal Mansy sought special permission to provide the drug through an expanded access programme and the results have been very encouraging.

After the first week a CT scan revealed that the cancer was shrinking and a recent scan in January shows it has reduced even further still.

“I feel over the moon,” she said. “We just can’t believe it. I have more energy now so I don’t necessarily need an afternoon nap every day.

“I don’t wake up on a morning and think ‘I have cancer’. I have received the best available treatment under the watchful eye of Dr Mansy, for which I am eternally grateful.”

Husband Alan said: “Six years ago there is no way we would have expected to be sat here now benefiting from this new drug. It is fantastic.”

Dr Mansy, who oversaw her treatment added: “Sylvia is probably my longest surviving lung cancer patient so it is great to see her benefitting from this exciting new treatment. We strive hard to get patients the most effective and newest treatments wherever possible.

“We have also expressed interest in more lung cancer clinical trials in the hope that this year we can do better still. The treatment landscape for lung cancer is rapidly changing but hopefully patients will do better than ever.”