Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor says new cancer medicine will extend his life by 5 years

Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor has announced that he is currently undergoing a new cancer treatment that will help him live for another five years.

The musician said the Cancer Awareness Trust cofounder Prof. Sir Chris Evans contacted him shortly after his bandmate Simon Le Bon revealed that Taylor had been privately battling stage four prostate cancer during the group’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year.

“The great irony is I missed the biggest night of my life and within a week I was in touch with an amazing fellow called Sir Chris Evans, who is the most incredible scientist,” he told BBC Breakfast. “He did my genomics, looked at it, and said, ‘There’s a treatment that can save you.'”

Simon Le Bon and Andy Taylor performing live onstage, on first US tour

Ebet Roberts/Getty Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and Andy Taylor (right)

Before Evans reached out, Taylor considered himself on “the blacklist” in terms of his health. “Now this treatment, which is a nuclear medicine, Lutetium-177, is targeted so it only sees cancer cells. It can’t see healthy cells,” he said. “I had my first round of it six weeks ago — I’m in next week for another round — and it kills stage four cancer in your bones, and what it’s effectively done is extend my life for five years.”

The guitarist also explained why, despite his best efforts and heartache, he was unable to attend Duran Duran’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I’ve had stage four prostate cancer for around eight years, and it caught up with me quite badly around about last September,” he said. “When you do something like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — which is basically like getting knighted for a guitar player — you’ve kinda got to be on 11. You can’t saunter in, and a few days before I couldn’t really stand up and play. I had to deal with the denial, but it was sad.”

On top of that, Taylor noted, none of his bandmates had known about his diagnosis until he wrote them a letter shortly before the ceremony, which Le Bon read on stage at the event. It was later posted on the band’s website.

“No one really knew. Just the family and a few friends,” Taylor said. “I just sort of kept it because once it goes public, I knew it would be sort of extensive. I could’ve picked a quieter moment for it to go public, but I didn’t want to make a fool of the band and just be on half and not be able to do this. It’s quite an intense three days.”

The band, he said, responded in a very “dignified” way, with frontman Le Bon asking if he could read the letter in Taylor’s stead. He added, “He did it with real dignity. He’s a very classy fellow, Simon. I love him dearly.”

In order to receive the treatment, Taylor said he had to get into “very good health,” but soon after he asked if it was possible to return to making music. He is set to release a new solo album, Man’s a Wolf to Man, on Sept. 8, and news broke in March that he is also working on new music with Duran Duran.

“After the first round of treatment I said, ‘If I’m okay, and you guys say I’m okay, and do your blood tests, is it okay to start work again — light work — and get out?'” Taylor recalled. “I don’t want to be a patient stuck here. I want to be a working patient, a little beacon of hope, because this stuff — cancer — just drags you and your family down in the darkness.”

Remarking on his recent health struggles, Taylor concluded, “It’s been a hell of a journey.”

Taylor joined Duran Duran in 1980 and is featured on some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Rio,” and “Girls on Film.” Although he departed the new-wave band six years later, Taylor reunited with them and they released new music for another five-year stint between 2001 and 2006. Their most recent album, Future Past, came out in October 2021.

Duran Duran announced in March that they will hold a benefit concert in honor of Taylor, with proceeds going to the Cancer Awareness Trust, in Menlo Park, Calif., on Aug. 19.

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