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Case study: Grateful mum living life to the fullest thanks to south London researchers

Read about how the MePFAC trial changed Kate Eddleston's life.

A grateful mum-of-two has spoken about how taking part in a south London cancer trial has helped her live life to the fullest.

Kate Eddleston, 46, from Hookfield in Epsom, Surrey, took part in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) MePFAC trial at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The trial, supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network South London, aims to find out whether methylphenidate, a stimulant drug that can improve brain activity, helps people with tiredness caused by advanced cancer.

The 46-year-old, who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2020, said her level of fatigue before taking part in the trial had impacted heavily on her day-to-day life. Kate said:

"I was really struggling to get up in the morning and stay awake in the evenings because of my cancer treatment. We have two energetic young boys aged three and five. My husband, Mike, had to take responsibility for getting them up and off to school every day on his way to work. I felt frustrated and guilty as I couldn’t do the things I needed to do as a wife and mum. The tiredness meant I had to reduce my working hours, and I was reluctant to make plans with my friends or visit family in case I needed to stop and rest.”

Kate had to have regular blood pressure checks and complete a series of questionnaires as part of her involvement in the MePFAC trial. She continued:

“My cancer treatment has given me a second chance, so I want to live my life to the fullest and enjoy every minute of it. Being able to take part in the MePFAC trial has been an absolute game-changer! Within a few weeks, I got my energy back. Having the drug has given me the ability to look after my boys and take the pressure off Mike. I also have the confidence to make plans with friends and family again.

“To improve cancer survival rates and treatments for ourselves and future generations, we need to encourage more volunteers to take part in clinical research. I want to do all I can to raise awareness of cancer research and ultimately help others. The amount of information and support you receive from The Royal Marsden’s trials team is amazing. I felt very reassured by the extra contact and monitoring.”

University College London sponsors the MePFAC trial. The NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre is the funder. You can find out more about the MePFAC trial on Cancer Research UK’s website.