Biology Human Organism

 Patient Offered New Cancer Treatment

Harriet Abeline had faced bad news before. She was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. Two years later, a routine mammogram revealed another lump. She faced this challenge with similar treatment.

Harriet understood medicine; for years she had worked as a recruiter for a major drug company interviewing and hiring scientists and physicians. The company was a reputable and honest business and developed drugs that were used all over the world.

So with each recurrence of cancer, she researched her situation and the available drugs being used for treatment. With each Google search, she read about the experimental treatments that were available for end-stage breast cancer, keeping them in the back of her mind.

Now, as her doctor told her that the cancer had spread to her bones, Harriet was frightened. Dr. Hill understood her fear. She had been working with cancer patients for years and lately, had been using some of the newer treatments available for late-stage cancers.

She told Harriet that she could enter an FDA phase 2 clinical trial for a new genetically engineered drug that would target her specific type of tumor. Harriet knew that phase 2 trials are designed to test for side effects and risks of the treatment. She also knew there was no guarantee that the treatment would cure her cancer.

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