Earlier this week, DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke to the “Trunk Nation” show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106) about his continuing battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with which he was diagnosed in 2013. He said: “[It’s] the least of my concerns, as always. It’s all good, just ongoing. I’m still doing this wonder drug that cured Jimmy Carter‘s cancer. It’s working well for me; it’s holding things in place. I’m coming to the end of the two years of the clinical trial; that’ll be up in June. So sometime over the next couple of months, my doctors will decide whether or not I can stay on this drug beyond the trial. I hope that that’s the case, ’cause it’s really working for me. The hardest part about it for me is scheduling and the extra travel, ’cause I’ve gotta fly back to L.A. every month to do it. But, yeah, it’s all good.”
Campbell has been taking doses of an antibody called pembrolizumab — the same immunotherapy drug former president Jimmy Carter has been using to treat his metastatic melanoma.
Immunotherapy is a revolutionary approach to cancer therapy, and the idea behind it is to marshal the body’s own defenses and aid them in the fight against cancer.
Vivian also confirmed that LAST IN LINE — which features Campbell alongside fellow founding DIO member Vinny Appice, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB, as well as bassist Phil Soussan (OZZY OSBOURNE, BEGGARS & THIEVES, Steve Lukather) — is working on material for the follow-up to last year’s acclaimed “Heavy Crown” debut. “We’ve got it half written already,” the guitarist said. “We started writing in January, and we have six songs on the go, and it sounds amazing — it’s so, so good. So we’re excited for that. We were hoping to get it out this year, but, unfortunately, due to my schedule with LEPPARD and Jeff Pilson‘s schedule with FOREIGNER… ‘Cause Jeff produced the ‘Heavy Crown’ album for us, and we wanna work with him again on the next one. So we have to wait. It looks like September before we’ll actually be able to start recording it, so it’ll probably be an early 2018 release.”
Original LAST IN LINE bassist Jimmy Bain passed away in late January 2016 at the age of 68. He was reportedly suffering from lung cancer at the time of his death.
Campbell — who before joining DEF LEPPARD in 1992 was well known for his work with DIO and WHITESNAKE — went public with his Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in June 2013.