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George McGavin: Living With Cancer

BBC4 - Wednesday 26th June, 9.00pm

In July 2018, BBC science presenter George McGavin was diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer, a malignant melanoma.

Until very recently, the only options available for advanced melanoma patients like George were surgery and hope. Survival rates were dire. But in the few months since he was diagnosed a host of new medicines have come on line that will drastically improve George’s chances. Crucially, these advances are putting melanoma at the pioneering edge of the most exciting developments in cancer research. Ever. 


This documentary follows George on a personal, medical and scientific journey. As a scientist, George can’t help but be excited by the extraordinary developments in melanoma care. He is utterly enthused as he meets Nobel Laureates, miracle patients, learns about game changing new therapies or examines state of the art images of his own cancer cells.

However, he is also a patient, a husband and a father. As he undergoes a regimen of PET scans, pills and pathology, he can’t help but wonder whether he will live to see the child of his pregnant daughter grow up. The result is a deeply powerful rendering of the astonishing promise of medical science. Could we be on the cusp of something that has eluded us for centuries - a cure for cancer? What does this mean for George? For science, and for humanity?

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