A FUNDRAISING campaign for a little boy with an aggressive form of cancer is nearing its target – but Freddie's fight is not over yet and he was last night in intensive care.

Freddie Thompson, three, from Ampleforth, near Thirsk, has started his immunotherapy treatment this week after news that his fundraising campaign to send him for groundbreaking treatment in America had reached almost £230,000 of the £250,000 target.

But after starting his new therapy treatment in Leeds this week, Freddie suffered a reaction to the drugs.

Freddie was diagnosed in September with stage four neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that affects 100 children a year, and in February his parents Philip and Emily, along with a team of 15 friends, launched the fundraising campaign to send him for treatment in the US.

Freddie's aunt Gillian Thompson said while everyone was overwhelmed with gratitude at the speed the cash has been raised for Freddie, he has sadly suffered a setback in his immunotherapy treatment.

The Northern Echo:

She said: "Freddie started his immunotherapy on Tuesday and it was meant to last ten days but on his second dose he went into anaphylactic shock and is currently in intensive care.

"It's heartbreaking for his parents – they are speaking to specialists about what this means for his treatment, because if he is allergic to something in the immunotherapy drugs he won't be able to continue."

Immunotherapy is a new treatment for neuroblastoma that has become available on the NHS.

The drug used is a man-made antibody and is designed to destroy GD2 cells, which are what neuroblastoma is made up of.

The aim of this treatment is to find any remaining cells that are resistant to chemotherapy or too small to be picked up on routine scans.

Freddie's immunotherapy consists of five rounds of antibodies over six months, this first round means he will be in hospital for ten days.

Ms Thompson added: "What everyone is doing with the fundraising is absolutely amazing. It is such a mixture of emotions – when we saw the last total we were delighted but then Freddie had his bad reaction.

"Emily, his mum, is just devastated. Hopefully we will know more tomorrow about where we go next with his treatment."

She said the family were incredibly grateful to everyone organising events large and small, and completing personal challenges.

"Freddie's dad Philip and his friends are doing a bike ride 'with a twist' next – a 26 mile bike ride but stopping at pubs on the way – so that should be interesting!"

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