Case study: ‘Personalised treatment plans for every patient’

Mr Salem A. Al Nashi, a mechanical engineer from Kuwait, came to The Royal Marsden in October 2018 after being diagnosed with rectal cancer.

“After I found out I had cancer my specialists at home referred me to a Kuwaiti doctor who was living in the United Kingdom. He then recommended that I went to The Royal Marsden in London, as he thought it was one of the best hospitals in Europe. I had no idea at that stage that I would be starting a year long journey of treatment,” he said.

Supported by his employers, the Kuwait Oil Company Medical group, Mr Al Nashi travelled to London with his family, joined by his son Abdulrahman, and brother Bader.  

After meeting with Professor Paris Tekkis, Professor of Colorectal Surgery at The Royal Marsden, the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) at The Royal Marsden discussed Mr Al Nashi’s case.

Cancer is a complex disease and so a wide range of experts are needed to provide optimum care for each individual. The MDT brings together experts, including surgeons, clinical and medical oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologists, radiologists and others, to develop personalised treatment plans for every patient.  

In November 2019 Mr Al Nashi had a four-week course of chemoradiation, followed by chemotherapy tablets and a consultation with Dr Diana Tait, a Consultant Clinical Oncologist. After four weeks he was scheduled for an operation in February 2019.

Mr Al Nashi said that throughout everything, he felt hopeful: “I was in admiration of the staff – the nurses and whole clinical team – at The Royal Marsden. Everything about my care was going so smoothly and this, along with my faith and trust in God, helped to reduce my anxiety. Continuous visits, phone calls and messages from family and friends with their Duah’s (personal prayers) gave me comfort and made me feel optimistic.”

In early February Mr Al Nashi underwent a five hour operation, led by Professor Tekkis and an expert theatre team. After five weeks, he then had four rounds of chemotherapy under the supervision of Professor David Cunningham OBE, Consultant Medical Oncologist, starting in late March and finishing in June. Between each round he also took chemotherapy tablets for two weeks, and had one week as rest. 

Throughout his treatment, Mr Al Nashi praised The Royal Marsden staff. “I have so much admiration for the team. I always feel well treated, with individual care and attention that I believed has helped my healing process.

“I had comfort as well from my brother who was able to look after my needs both at home and in the hospital. As The Royal Marsden is based in London I was able to visit more than 20 museums, parks and other attractions.”

A final operation was undertaken in July to close the colostomy opening, and after some time to recover Mr Al Nashi was able to go home on the 14 August 2019.

It was an experience during his recovery that Mr Al Nashi said summed up his treatment at The Royal Marsden.

“I was in the recovery room, and was surprised when a nurse who was attending another meeting, quietly left that group to come to speak with me. It was an enjoyable time and we spoke for 10-15 minutes about many things, not just my illness. The actions of this nurse really echoed the amazing and caring staff at The Royal Marsden.

“Throughout everything I have been in total awe of the medical and personal care I have been given; my genuine appreciation goes to all the health team, doctors, nurses and staff.

“At the Royal Marsden they don’t just treat cancer, they treat the whole patient.

“This has been my journey of hope and a life changing experience. I am now starting a new and healthy chapter in my life. InshaAllah (God willing), I give thanks to God and these dedicated people.”

At The Royal Marsden they don’t just treat cancer, they treat the whole patient.

Mr Salem A. Al Nashi, patient at The Royal Marsden