New treatment for cancer patients brings hope for the future

(WLNS) – Cancer patients are getting a new hope with a trial treatment that has been in the works for nearly a decade.

Cancer patients say fighting the disease can be exhausting.

“You can only take so many treatments,” Ovarian cancer patient Joyce Hedin said.

Sparrow Hospital’s Dr. Gordan Srkalovic says the treatment for cancer that is being used now is not the most efficient.

“Treating lung cancer the same way in all patients is not right,” Dr. Srkalovic said.

A new treatment trial is trying to change that.

“This is giving them hope,” Dr. Srkalovic explained.

Humans are made up of genes that determine things like eye color, hair color and height. Genes are also where mutations are found that cause cancer.

“Because all cancer and all people are different,” Hedin said.

Marlene Parker has battled both breast and lung cancer, and she knows just how important specific treatment can be.

“different treatment effects people in different ways,” Parker said.

The new treatment is being used as a last resort during the trial run, by specifically treating someone based on their personal gene mutations causing the cancer.

“Definitely going to save lives and prolong lives of patients with cancer,” Dr. Srkalovic said.

Dr. Srkalovic says in the future they hope this treatment will be the frontline.

“Someday it will help my grandkids or my great grandkids or even my kids,” Parker said.

Other patients who are candidates for the trial say any risk is worth it.

“I would be willing because there is somebody down the road that will benefit by it.

More than 1,000 patients at Sparrow are already using the new treatment trial.

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