NEWSREPORT: The Magic Bullet gives boy, 8, a new shot at life By Paul Stokes, Daily Telegraph. Fri, Feb 13, 1998
AN eight-year-old boy has become one of the first children in Britain to have a revolutionary cancer treatment known as the Magic Bullet.
Adam Gago was injected with radioactive particles to destroy the affected cells in his body.
He had to remain in isolation in a lead-lined room at Newcastle General hospital for 11 days while radioactive.
His mother Susan and step-father John Wakinshaw, 32, were allowed to visit him for occasional 30-minute sessions while wearing geiger counters to ensure they were not absorbing radiation.
At other times, Mrs Wakinchow 31 who has two other children could only watch and talk to Adam through a television monitor system.
He had been given a 30 per cent chance of survival by doctors who diagnosed him as suffering from neuroblastoma almost a year ago.
he Magic Bullet treatment was suggested after a tumour discovered in his abdomen had spread to his bone marrow.
From March last year through to September, Adam, of Hebburn South Tyneside, was given life-saving treatment.
Radioactive antibodies were injected into Adam to give him a single, massive dose of radiation.
The antibodies travelled through the blood hike bullets, homing in on the cancer cells and then-destroying them.
Five days after his injection Adam was put on a six-month course of chemotherapy while he was in isolation.
Mrs Wakinshaw said: "Adam was radioactive for 11 days. Even his urine, sweat and tears were radioactive and we had to wash everything lie touched.
"We couldn't touch him for 11 days. We couldn't hug him or kiss him, it was really difficult.
"The longer we stayed in the room or the closer we got to him the more radioactivity we picked up and the more the geiger counter bleeped
"We were told he would be really ill, but he was excellent. We told him he would be given horrible medicine but
he just turned round and said it wasn't horrible if it was going to make him better."
Adam, who is nine next month, still attends hospital for regular checks but doctors say the cancer has disappeared. He hopes to be able to return to school full-time after Easter.
Prof Andy Pearson, a leading light in the use of the Magic Bullet technique, has been working on the treatment with a team based at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, using a £2million European grant and money raised from the Children's Cancer Run, an annual event in the city.
Prof Pearson said: "The Magic Bullet approach reduces the need for harmful chemotherapy and increases the chance of a cure. We have done a lot of research into individual treatment and are very hopeful."