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War in the Blood - BBC2

Dr Martin Pule in the lab
(Image credit: BBC/Minnow Films/Richard Ansett)

Could cancer be defeated with a single injection? In War in the Blood, we learn about a groundbreaking new treatment being put through its paces

War in the Blood is an extraordinary film about two cancer patients, Graham and Mahmoud, who are taking part in a new treatment trial to fight the devastating disease.

War in the Blood: Mahmoud in hospital

Hoping for the best: Mahmoud

CAR T-cell therapy is the last hope for terminally ill patients, who have exhausted all other current treatment options of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

The new approach is being pioneered in the UK by Dr Martin Pule, and takes cells out of the body, modifies them in a lab to turn them into cancer-killing cells, then puts them back into the patient's body.

“Just five or six years ago, CAR-T therapy was only an academic discipline," says Dr Pule.

"But once the commercial pharma companies took an interest, this made people think this new technology could really take off.”

This is the first time this treatment has been tested on people in the UK, so it’s risky and there are no guarantees it will work.

There are also a lot of concerns about the negative and possibly fatal side effects.

Graham in bed in War in the Blood

Ready for treatment: Graham

Graham and Mahmoud are heroic trailblazers, determined not only to do this for themselves but for every cancer patient who might need it in the future.

A beautiful, inspiring and deeply emotional film.

TV Times rating: *****