Friday, October 12, 2007
Medical Reports: Cancer
This year, about 22,000 women will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. The good news is many of these patients respond to treatments and go into remission quickly but the cancer often comes back with deadly consequences. Seven's Christine Cruz reports on a new treatment that aims to keep the cancer away for good.
WSVN -- Julie Lee's three new puppies are sure to bring a smile to her face.
Julie Lee: "They are such a joy. They're so fun!"
She's needed the good times after being diagnosed with stage four Ovarian Cancer.
Julie Lee: "My first thought was, 'Oh my God, I have Ovarian Cancer. That's like one of the worst cancers you can possibly have.'"
After chemo and radiation, Julie went into remission. Good news.
Julie Lee: "And I found it on the CT scan."
Doctor Robert Holloway of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando, says 75 percent of patients have their cancer return.
Dr. Robert Holloway: "Some of the most intense areas of research right now are to try to figure out how to take women who are in remission and keep them there."
Now, researchers are studying a new therapy that may do just that. A drug is infused right into the abdomen through a port. It links immune cells to cancer cells. The body then creates an immune response to seek out and destroy the cancer cells.
Dr. Robert Holloway: "I can say in the patients that I treated, we have seen the immune response."
Patients are given four injections over a month. Doctors have treated about 36 patients in a clinical trial. It's still early but so far all the women have remained in remission. Julie had the injections and has been cancer-free for nine months.
Julie Lee: "I hope that this clinical trial prevents me from ever having a relapse again, and I'll stay in remission forever."
She says she wants to enjoy each and every moment with her little pups.
Christine Cruz: "Side effects of the therapy include flu-like conditions since the drug affects the body's immune system. Currently, there are 36 patients enrolled in this clinical trial nationally but researchers are now enrolling more."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Clinical Trial Coordinator