Sylvester Offers Latest Treatments for Uveal Melanoma
When flashes of light disrupted Karen Clark’s vision three years ago, she never imagined it was cancer.
Access to Clinical Trials Benefits Patients Battling Rare Cancers
“What I started thinking initially was, ‘Is this going to be my last Halloween? Is this going to be my last Thanksgiving? Is this going to be my last Christmas?’” says Karen.
Karen had uveal melanoma, a rare form of eye cancer, says Jose Lutzky, M.D., a medical oncologist specialized in advanced skin cancers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System.
“Most uveal melanomas are diagnosed either incidentally when they go to have an eye exam and the ophthalmologist finds a suspicious spot in the back of the eye. Or people may present with a change in vision, blurred vision,” says Dr. Lutzky.
Karen had radiation to kill the tumor in her eye. But when it spread to her liver, Dr. Lutzky started her on a clinical trial.
Because Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center, it has access to the latest clinical trials, testing the most innovative therapies for rare diseases such as uveal melanoma.
“It makes a huge difference in how much access we have to developing new treatments for patients,” Dr. Lutzky says.
Dr. Lutzky just enrolled Karen in a new clinical trial using an immunotherapy drug.
“This one will direct the drugs right directly to my liver,” Karen says.
Karen is looking forward to many more holidays with her family thanks to Dr. Lutzky and the Sylvester team!
“Thank you so much for helping, for being there,” says Karen.
Jose Lutzky, M.D., a medical oncologist specialized in advanced skin cancers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, describes how Sylvester’s access to clinical trials offers the most innovative treatments for patients with rare cancers such as uveal melanoma.
Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.