Aubrey Kennedy, who is currently living with mesothelioma, was awarded the full cost of the treatment, in a settlement against a number of employers. The case was due to be heard in court, but the defendants agreed to pay for the treatment at the last minute.
Immunotherapy treatment using the drug Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is relatively newly discovered and, according to the consultant oncologist who recommended Mr Kennedy's treatment, may be one of the biggest advances in anti-cancer treatment of the past 20 years.
The treatment is currently approved for use in melanoma skin cancer and non-small cell lung cancer and the hope is that it will also be approved for malignant mesothelioma in the near future. Currently, mesothelioma, the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, generally proves fatal.
Doctors using the therapy also say that the side effects are much less severe for patients than traditional chemotherapy.
Mr Kennedy, who is 68, was initially treated with chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with the disease in July 2015. He suffered side effects from this and it affected his kidneys. The tumour was initially stable but began to grow again in July 2016. He was therefore recommended for immunotherapy but had to pay for the treatment privately because it is not available on the NHS. The cost to him was recovered as well as the cost of treatment he might need in the future.
Mr Kennedy, who worked as an electrician, was frequently exposed to asbestos in the late 1960s and early 1970s while working at Woolwich Arsenal, the BBC and the Royal School of Mines in Kensington, among other places. His work often involved moving cables across areas containing pipes covered with asbestos lagging in various stages of disrepair. He remembers dust floating around the atmosphere 'almost constantly'.
Caroline said that she very much hopes that Mr Kennedy's case paves the way for more sufferers of mesothelioma to be able to claim the costs of immunotherapy treatment. Current statistics on the treatment reckon 76 per cent of patients derive clinic benefit from the treatment.