A pioneering oncologist and clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine is having twice the success in treating cancer, and one mother was so excited with her result that she reached out to a stranger who recommended the clinic and new friends now. they are united as unconditional survivors. terminal diagnostics.
When Maria Lewis first felt a lump, her heart sank because she had lost many members of her family to cancer. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which means she did not have any of the receptors commonly found in breast cancer, and she was given 3 to 6 months to live with little hope that any treatment would work.
After being told to prepare for the worst, the 50-year-old man with four children living at home traveled to Los Angeles after seeking help online.
He went to see Dr. Robert Nagourney, who uses the emerging “functional profiling” technique to test which drugs will work in any patient using samples of the actual tumors or fluids.
Essentially, this involves killing a patient’s tumor in the lab first, based on which FDA-approved drugs and drug combinations work best, and then providing them to the patient, using personalized medicine based not on genomics but on cell biology.
Nagourney had become disenchanted with the trial-and-error approach he witnessed during the fellowships at Georgetown and elsewhere, and decided there must be a better way. Today, his approach is gaining popularity around the world, given the success of his patients.
When Maria arrived at her clinic, she was in stage 4, with a large 6 cm tumor in her breast, a tumor in the kidney, and involvement of the lymph nodes.
A week after returning home to Utah, Dr. Nagourney finished her tests and she returned for chemotherapy based on results in the lab that focused on the correct drugs. Three weeks after that chemotherapy session, he could no longer feel his tumor. Three weeks after that, the tumor disappeared.
After Maria recovered, she heard about Shellie Chrum in St. Louis (a friend of her neighbor) who was dealing with a similar dire diagnosis: extensively metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her lungs and bones, including her spine. . He immediately called Shellie.
New best friends
“Although we have never met in person, we have talked on the phone for many hours,” Maria told GNN. “Having had a life-threatening cancer diagnosis and having been blessed with the results I have had, I want to shout it from the rooftops so that everyone can hear and learn from my experience with Dr. Nagourney’s functional profile test.”
Shellie took his new friend’s advice and left for California last summer so Nagourney could extract fluid from the 43-year-old man, which provided him with enough cells for his EVA / PCD (Ex vivo Programmed Cell Death Analysis) analysis. .
After he determined that she was HER2 positive (for human epidermal growth factor 2), Nagourney knew she would be a good candidate for the common drug combination Trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Pertuzumab (Perjeta), but how to address the disease that it affects the lungs and bones left the doctor puzzled.
She found a very favorable interaction between Vinorelbine and Trastuzumab, and added a low dose of Everolimus, resulting in a four-drug combination that “no other breast cancer patient has ever received.”
After just two cycles of the drugs, administered on the first and eighth days of a three-week cycle, the scan results compared to the end of June were “astonishing … and consistent with a complete or near complete response. to therapy “.
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