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Trial Drugs Can Be A Cancer Cure For Some Patients

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) ― University of Colorado Cancer Center is welcoming a new director who wants to reinvent cancer research in Colorado. Dr. Dan Theodorescu is championing personalized medicine and cutting edge clinical trials to impact cancer care. That kind of approach to cancer is already making a big difference in patient lives.

Tommy Stewart has been going to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, UCCC, for treatment of thyroid cancer. He’d been through several surgeries and conventional treatments, but the cancer kept coming back.

“This is approximately an inch wide tumor which is a lymph node relapse which is rather frequent in thyroid cancer,” said Dr. Antonio Jimeno, a head and neck cancer specialist at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

“It was sort of a numb feeling…’What do we do now?’…’What’s the next step?’…’How are we going to deal with this?’,” Stewart told CBS4.

The next step was a Phase 1 clinical trial, taking an experimental drug.

“Clinical trials at all levels are critically important in pushing the ball forward and making progress in cancer,” said Dr. Dan Theodorescu, the new director at UCCC.

The experimental drug that Stewart took made big progress on his tumor. It reduced it to undetectable levels, and in Stewart’s case there were no side effects. An unusual result even in clinical trials.

“Being able to not just control but literally wipe out a thyroid cancer that is metastatic is basically…it’s very rare,” said Jimeno.

“I was totally surprised,” Steward added.

“We, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center are innovators at Phase 1 clinical trials. In fact we have one of the best Phase 1 groups in the country,” Theodorescu explained.

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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