A SOUTH Bucks man with an incurable type of blood cancer whose life has been saved by clinical trials is the face of a national charity report launched in Parliament this week.

Newton McGrath, from Taplow, who works as a gas engineer, was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called myeloma in 2007 after abnormalities showed up in a blood test during a routine health check.

The 61-year-old has been featured in the Hear Our Voice report by cancer research charity Bloodwise.

The report features the stories of people from across the UK who have been diagnosed with or lost a relative to blood cancer and is calling on the government to make clinical trials available to more blood cancer patients.

Myeloma is currently classed as incurable but it can be treated and survival times have increased significantly in recent years thanks to new drugs.

Mr McGrath requested to go on a clinical trial as soon as the cancer returned after intensive chemotherapy.

At first, he was placed on the standard chemotherapy test group of the trial. When the chemotherapy stopped working, he was transferred to the trial drug – which he is still on and doing well.

He said: “When I was first diagnosed, I was very worried about the fact that my myeloma was likely to come back.

“I feel a lot more positive about the future now. Trials offer me hope - I always feel I’ve got a chance and there’s always a pipeline of drugs.

“I am already being lined up for the next trial, which is fantastic.

“The treatment I’m on now is helping save my life and I hope the trials I’ve been part of since I was diagnosed will be able to help save other peoples’ lives too.”

Bloodwise says treatment for many types of blood cancer still involves intensive chemotherapy, which is gruelling and not always effective.

The report also calls for more patients to be asked if they would like to participate in clinical trials for new drugs, as the charity says many patients are not given the option.

Gemma Peters, CEO of Bloodwise, said: “One in 19 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer in their lifetime.

“Although Newton’s experience is unique to him, it and other accounts featured in our report tell the wider story of how people affected by blood cancer are being cared for across the UK.

“There are many positive experiences and the quality of treatment is usually high, but too many feel that their overall care could have been better. We will never stop listening to people affected by blood cancer and working with the government and the NHS to improve treatment.”