New personalized approach to treat ovarian cancer
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Treating ovarian cancer has typically been done on a "one size fits all" basis. But a cancer researcher and survivor thought there was a better way. Thanks to her, a new approach - profiling each tumor sample individually -has created a more personalized and effective treatment.
Helen Gardner surrounds herself with beautiful art. Her life was uprooted when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had chemo and surgery, but her cancer came back.
"Your life expectancy is less than five years," said Gardner.
But Gardner wasn't ready to give up. She found the Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit that offers hope for women like her.
"Eighty percent of people respond to the traditional chemotherapy, but then 80 percent of us recur," said founder Laura Shawver.
Shawver says when this cancer recurs, treatment choices aren't clear.
"Right now, it's 'pick out of a hat' guesswork as to which one it will be. I just think as a scientist, well, we can do better than that," said Shawver.
The foundation performs molecular profiling. Tumors are sent to labs and analyzed. Patients are then provided treatment suggestions based on their tumor's specific genetic make-up.
"We're doing something that I feel the medical community and the insurance community should already be doing," said Shawver.
Gardner found a trial testing a drug that matched her tumor's profile. She had a second surgery, and while the future's unknown, she remains hopeful.
"I'm getting ready to finish year four of those five years they gave me," said Gardner.
So far, the Clearity Foundation has profiled the tumors of 315 women. The cost could be anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Insurance often picks up the expense, but the foundation will cover the cost of people who are uninsured.
health, cancer, women's health, healthy living, denise dador
- Malaysia missing jet may have turned back 16 min ago
- 2 persons of interest sought in LB attack
- LAPD officer recovering after fatal BH crash
- Teen survives 5 Fwy crash, killed by traffic
- Bees attack 71-year-old woman in Palm Desert 4 min ago
- IE WWII Medal of Honor recipient laid to rest 20 min ago
- L.A. man wanted in attempted Banksy theft
- Obama to preserve California federal lands
- abcnews: Teens save man stuck in sewer
- Bond set for mom who drove kids into ocean
- Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea
- New Toyota Highlander carries on legacy
- Sheila MacRae of 'The Honeymooners' dies
- OTRC: Khloe Kardashian topless in first Vine video