A brave little girl suffering from cancer will be one of the first British children to take part in a clinical trial to try to beat the disease.

Sophie McGuire, 2, who has an aggressive form of neuroblastoma, will be treated with immunotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

The technique involves antibodies in the immune system being stimulated to identify and destroy tumours.

Sophie is taking part in an international clinical trial funded by Cancer Research UK, after a U.S. study found using immunotherapy improved chances of surviving the disease.

The treatment has been used on adults before, but not children. About 40 patients will be recruited to take part in the trials over the next 12 months.

Sophie lives in London with her father James, 35, mother Anne, 33, and sister Olivia, 5.

Sophie's parents first noticed she was sick in February when she started to limp. Following a visit to her doctor and local hospital, Sophie's parents were told she had a virus that was affecting her hips.

She was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where tests revealed she had stage 4 neuroblastoma — the most advanced and aggressive form of the disease.

"As a parent, that is the worst thing you can hear: 'Your child has cancer,'" James McGuire said. "Her condition was revealed by MRI scans which showed she had cancerous tissue wrapped around the arteries leading to her kidneys. She also had a secondary form of cancer which had spread everywhere, including to her bones, arms, legs and pelvis."

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