Clinical Trials Offer Novel Treatments for Brain Tumor Patients
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Dr. Macarena De La Fuente, an oncologist with Sylvester’s Brain Tumor Initiative, discusses a unique clinical trial that has helped patient Eryn Campbell defy the odds for nearly five years.
Narrator: Focusing on you, innovations in modern medicine from your team of experts at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.
Pam Giganti: Eryn Campbell had just enrolled in college in New Jersey when she was diagnosed with the most aggressive type of brain tumor, a glioblastoma.
Eryn Campbell: My prognosis in the beginning, in 2015, was six to nine months. When I found that out, oh my God, everybody in the room just burst into tears.
Pam Giganti: Eryn was treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation but her cancer returned. That's when she came to Sylvester and was placed in a clinical trial for a targeted treatment for tumors with certain genetic characteristics.
Dr. De La Fuente: In her case, we identified one mutation and we were able to enroll her on a clinical trial with a drug that target that specific mutation. That is what we call targeted therapy.
Eryn Campbell: I was excited. I was like, yes, I want to do that.
Pam Giganti: As part of the clinical trial, Eryn comes here to Sylvester each month in order to receive her medication. Dr. Macarena De La Fuente, an oncologist with Sylvester's Brain Tumor Initiative, monitors Eryn's treatment. She takes nine pills every day.
Dr. De La Fuente: We are happily surprised that not only her tumor has been stable for almost two and a half year on this clinical trial, but has also reduced inside more than 50% of the initial tumor size.
Eryn Campbell: It's been almost five years now and still kicking, still doing great.
Dr. De La Fuente: What is important for me is that we are helping the patient living the life that they want to live. That, I think, is the key.