Monday, November 30, 2009
Medical Reports: Targets Tumors
It could be a huge breakthough for breast cancer patients. An experimental drug is zapping tumors quickly and helping patients escape the terrible side effects of chemotherapy. Seven's Diana Diaz shows us how this drug Targets Tumors.
WSVN -- Getting diagnosed with breast cancer was terrifying for Lillian Mills and her family.
Vernay Mills: "It was very hard beecause whenever you hear cancer, you think death."
Even though Lillian would have to undergo chemo and probably lose her right breast, she refused to let the diagnosis get her down.
Lillian Mills: "I determined in myself that I was going to think positive all the time."
And now she has even more reason to stay positive. Doctors at UMs Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center offered her an experimental drug that would make her treatments easier to tolerate.
Lillian Mills: "They said it would lesson the effects of the chemo like the nausea and vomiting."
Dr. Alberto Montaro: "Patients tolerate the treatments better and they have fewer side effects from the chemotherapy."
The drug is called NOV-002 and is being combined with traditional chemotherapy to kill cancer faster and better.
Dr. Alberto Montaro: "We really don't know yet exactly how this drug works, but in our laboratory here we've shown that actually it stimulates the immune system to kill cancer cells."
Patients inject themselves once a day with the drug and then it's also added to their routine chemo treatments. Other than sitting through the hours of treatments, it's made chemotherapy a breeze for Lillian.
Lillian Mills: "Overall I feel good. I don't feel sick."
And the best part, the drug combination is killing the tumor in Lillian's breast at mind blowing speed.
Lillian Mills: "After the second treatment it had decreased by 60 percent. I could hardly believe it. I said this stuff is working."
When we came back after the first cycle and the doctor said it was reduced by 60 percent, i was shocked. I didnt expect that. Now after eight treatments, doctors can't see or feel the tumor anymore and Lillian is already in remission.
Lillian Mills: "Breast cancer is not a death sentence."
Vernay Mills: "I'm glad we chose to go on the experimental drug. Obviously I'm hoping for a cancer-free mom."
Diana Diaz: "More testing needs to be done with breast cancer, but the drug is expected to be approved to treat lung cancer by early next year."