Series 2 - Episode 2



"We are living in a golden age of more and more cancer drugs being available,” says Imperial NHS Trust’s most senior cancer specialist, Dr Katie Urch. However, with an estimated deficit of £850 million across England’s hospitals alone, the health service faces growing ethical challenges over how to treat patients needing expensive or unproven drugs. “How do you cost life? It is very, very difficult,” says Dr Urch.

Two case studies in this programme make the point. Glendon from Preston believes an immunotherapy drug might shrink his brain tumour – but it is unproven and costs £30,000. Meanwhile, Nicky from Devon is attempting to crowdfund the £60,000 she needs for a promising drug to treat her ovarian cancer.


Cameras follow Glendon from Preston who has Glioblastoma, a form of brain tumour. He has identified an immunotherapy drug, and wants to self-fund a course, so he seeks advice at Charing Cross Hospital's private wing. Elsewhere in London, Nicky from Devon has travelled to Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital to receive NHS treatment not available at her local hospital for her ovarian cancer.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Executive Producer Lorraine Charker-Phillips
Executive Producer Jackie Waldock
Series Producer Tom Currie
Series Producer Gilly Greenslade