Campbell cancer fight goes on

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell's previous announcement that his cancer was in remission was "premature," he's revealed.

He was given a provisional all-clear after undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year – but it’s come back.

He’s now receiving an experimental treatment in Los Angeles, then he’ll undergo stem-cell replacement procedure after Def Lep complete their US tour with Kiss.

Campbell tells “The remission was a little bit premature. It came right back. I don’t know if the cancer came back or it never totally went away, but the initial scan I did after my chemo came back clean.

“There was something about it the oncologist wasn’t clear about so I was referred to another specialist. Everyone was a bit apprehensive and he said, ‘Well, for now you appear to be in remission.’ I kind of took that ball and ran with it – and unfortunately it turned out to be premature.”

A later scan revealed new cancer cells had grown back, and he’s now half-way through a new form of chemotherapy.

“It’s really kind of easy-going,” says Campbell. “It’s the first new drug that’s been discovered for Hodgkin’s since 1977. I’m part of this research trial. I don’t know how it works but somehow or other it just manages to target the cancer cells.

“It’s not like old-school carpet-bomb chemo where it kills all the fast-growing cells, so I haven’t experienced any hair loss or any issues with my skin or nails this time around.”

His treatment will continue during Def Lep’s summer tour before he receives a stem-cell transplant, probably in September. He admits he’s not looking forward to it but adds: “I’ve been told if I don’t do that, the cancer’s going to keep coming back every couple of years, and every time it’s a little bit more resistant.”

Meanwhile, he’s delighted to have the opportunity to keep working. “When I was going through the chemo last year the band said, ‘We’ve been offered these shows; can you do them? We can get someone to cover for you.’ I said, ‘Fuck that! I’m not having someone else do my job.’

“It was very, vert therapeutic for me to get on stage and do that. The same is true this year.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.