Patients’ families welcome GBM blood test breakthrough

2 min read

A simple blood test that could help diagnose the deadliest form of brain cancer has been welcomed by families of brain tumour patients. 

Linda Peel, mum of Andi Peel who died aged 30 of a glioblastoma (GBM) in January 2023, and Francesca Ackroyd, wife of Steve Ackroyd, now 47, who was diagnosed with a GBM in August 2022, have hailed the world-first test which could spare patients from undergoing invasive and highly-risky surgery. 

By sharing their stories, Linda and Francesca have helped raise vital awareness of the breakthrough, which is the outcome of a clinical study that took place at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College London, with a wave of media coverage including in the Mirror and Independent

The new technique could make a huge difference to patients with suspected high-grade gliomas, leading to earlier diagnosis of their tumour type, speedier treatment, and potentially increasing survival rates

Inexpensive and simple to implement, it could benefit patients in as a little as two years. 

Linda, from Leicestershire, said: "Following his diagnosis, Andi endured surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, until being told there was no other treatment available for him. He went through so much, and I felt so helpless when I realised there was no hope and he was going to die. It brings me comfort to think this development will improve things for brain tumour patients in the future." 

Steve Ackroyd, who lives in London with his wife and 12-year-old daughter Autumn, had a biopsy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and is now undergoing immunotherapy treatment in Germany, financed through a crowdfunding page. 

Francesca, 47, said: “In Steve’s case he went through a surgical biopsy to determine his tumour type, and we also found out that its diffuse nature meant it is inoperable.  

“We waited seven weeks for the results only to find out that the tissue was later deemed to be a ‘poor sample.'

Unfortunately, all the delays cost us precious time when he could have been on treatment.” 

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