BRAVE journalist Adrian Sudbury has been dealt a terrible blow in his battle against leukaemia.
Test results have revealed that leukaemia cells have formed in the new bone marrow he received in a transplant just 12 months ago.
Doctors were today planning to carry out more tests on the 25-year-old Huddersfield Examiner journalist, in a bid to discover just how far they have spread.
But he has been warned it could mean a full relapse, possibly within weeks or a few months.
It is a sickening blow for the journalist, who has bravely battled against the disease – and numerous side-effects – since November, 2006.
His fight, chronicled by Adrian himself in his hard-hitting Baldy’s Blog on the Examiner website, has been followed by people from all over the world.
Now he is waiting to discover what next step he must take.
Adrian said: "In its simplest terms, the bone marrow transplant I had last year has failed.
"The new bone marrow was meant to replace the diseased marrow and keep leukaemia at bay.
"Both I and the doctors were confident but it now seems there are traces of cells. They took samples five weeks ago and although they seemed fine under the microscope, when they did molecular tests they found the cells. It has come as a real hammer blow."
In the wake of his transplant, Adrian developed a condition called Graft Versus Host Disease in which his body reacted to the new bone marrow.
It brought many unpleasant side effects, affecting his weight and his skin, but was also expected to help fight off a return of the leukaemia.
The fight against the disease was also helped by the use of a drug called Glivec.
It has been proven in many other cases to be effective but Adrian admits it has not done so in his case.
"All in all, it was pretty bad news from the doctors.
"The options are now pretty limited and they have told me I could see a full relapse in weeks or months.
"We can try to increase the Glivec dosage and hope it will push back the leukaemia cells, but so far it does not seem to have worked.
"Another option is more chemotherapy but I’m not sure how I feel about that. And I do not want to face another marrow transplant".
Adrian has been a reporter for both the Huddersfield Express and Chronicle Series and the Huddersfield Examiner.
In November, 2006, he was promoted to digital journalist, effectively editing the new-look Examiner website. Just two days into his new role he became seriously ill and called in sick.
A week later he drove himself to A&E and was eventually diagnosed with leukaemia. It was then identified that he actually has two distinct types of the disease running at the same time.
According to the medical literature he is the only person in the world to have this condition.