A schoolgirl known as the ‘cancer warrior’ has decided to stop receiving chemotherapy.
Doctors have told Kira Noble, 15, that her Neuroblastoma is incurable, but treatable, and she will now begin taking an experimental drug called Alk Inhibitor.
Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children a year in the the UK and has the lowest survival rate of all childhood cancers.
Kira, from Edinburgh, has relapsed four times in four years since she was first diagnosed and has undergone various treatments.
Late last year she travelled to New Jersey in America for Proton Beam Therapy – a less intrusive form of radiotherapy.
However, she was then told that the cancer was continuing to grow and has now learned there is no cure.
Speaking to STV News, Kira said: “I’ve decided for myself I don’t want to have chemo any more. I’ve had 20 rounds and that’s a lot to handle.
“I don’t think it’s what would be best for me. Last year I had my last round of chemo and parts of my cancer weren’t responding to it.
“I was becoming really ill from it all and it wasn’t doing anything for me. I’ve just decided now that it’s probably not a good idea … everything you don’t want happens. You can lose your identity from it.”
Kira will soon continue her treatment using innovative drugs called Alk Inhibitor, which target the affected cells.
“I just want to start the next treatment and get on with it,” she said.
Her mum Aud Noble says they are aiming to “manage and control” the Neuroblastoma as much as possible.
She said: “Kira is now incurable … our objective is to manage that and control it as much as we possibly can.
“She’s still treatable so we’re moving onto targeted therapy with Alk Inhibitor, which we hope we’ll have very soon and can move forward.”
In the meantime, after spending the bulk of last year in hospital, Kira is determined to make the most of life.
“I’ve been out every weekend and after school, doing as much as possible,” she said.
“Last year I was in hospital for eight months so missed the whole summer and didn’t get to see people. It’s nice to go into school and see people, and just be a teenager.
Kira has kept wellwishers updated throughout her journey on her Facebook page – Kira the Machine.
In 2018 almost £500,000 was raised in a few short weeks to allow Kira to have surgery in the US.
Aud now hopes more research can be carried out to find new potential treatments for Neuroblastoma, and believes doctors should get more training in spotting the signs of childhood cancer.
She said: “Parents wish there was an infinite supply of treatment options available. It’s a brutal disease, a relentless disease, it stops at nothing so you absolutely need as many treatments as you can get your hands on.
“Bottom line is there just aren’t enough. So much more research is needed into this disease to understand it better. We need to move forward faster.”