Jump to content

Colorado Lung Cancer Researchers Make Big Advances

Recommended Posts


Researchers in Colorado are involved in a worldwide effort that's making big breakthroughs in the fight against lung cancer.

The doctors involved are at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and they say they may have uncovered a treatment for the deadly form of cancer that kills 20,000 Americans every year.

Although not a cure for cancer, a procedure called an ALK inhibitor could well be a way to control it.

Medical oncologist Dr. Ross Camidge is among the researchers who stumbled onto the ALK inhibitor which, in a clinical study, makes cancer melt away.

Camidge and others call it a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. It takes what has long been a death sentence and turns it into a chronic disease.

"After only six weeks of treatment with the drug, this lung looks completely normal," Camidge told CBS station KCNC-TV . "There is no sign of the cancer."

The center is among a handful of centers in the world involved in the research.

Ila Hegland is part of the study. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-smoker's lung cancer 9 years ago and given 2 years to live.

She survived on radiation and chemotherapy, then early this year her doctors at the University of Colorado Cancer Center took a closer look at her cancer cells.

"By looking at the very genetics of the cancer, you can say 'This is what is driving the cancer in the first place,'" Camidge said.

For Hegland, it's a miracle.

"I have two small grandchildren. It's exciting to think that maybe I'll get to live to see them grow up," she said.

Among the 23 test patients worldwide, she is No. 14 and the first in Colorado to respond positively.

"Now we have a subset of patients that didn't have any hope with other medications and they are dramatically responding to this new drug," Dr. Marileila Varella Garcia said.

Right now the testing and treatment is free, so doctors say lung cancer patients should see if they qualify.

If the trials continue to be successful, Pfizer could develop a licensed drug in about 3 years.

This discovery could ultimately help the university and other cancer patients, too. If the study shows personalized treatments are effective, researchers are more likely to receive funding for similar studies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"After only six weeks of treatment with the drug, this lung looks completely normal," Camidge told CBS station KCNC-TV . "There is no sign of the cancer."

This says it all right here!!!!!! Thanks Tina!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think since the woman has survived nine years after having had chemo, including radiation, and is still here after nine years, that makes having treatments a part of her survival equation.

As Dave Grant advised me when I was a panic-driven caregiver, to keep taking treatments because there is a better chance of being here when something comes down the pipeline.

Dave was initially diagnosed as a very early stage. He was diagnosed after that at a much later stage. He lived for five years. He gave me the impetus to encourage Bill for the treatments. I am so very grateful for the four and a half years with Bill.

The longer we are here, the longer we are here.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.