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Best Life: New drug destroys lung cancer

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 7:27 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 131,000 people will die of lung cancer this year. It has the lowest five-year survival rate of the other most common cancers. That’s because, by the time you feel the symptoms, it’s usually too late to effectively treat. But now, a new drug is adding years to a patient’s life.

Not much scares Cindy Morris.

“I’m an exciting person. I like doing exciting stuff,” said Morris.

From jumping solo at 1,300 feet to speeding down the highway on her Harley. Cindy thought nothing could stop her, until...

“I woke up on a Saturday and there was a large lump in my neck,” she said.

Morris was diagnosed with stage four non-small cell lung cancer.

“I was stunned,” she said proclaimed.

Radiation, chemo, surgery and two clinical trials worked temporarily. But tumors returned in her lungs, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, spleen and brain. Then a new drug gave her new hope.

“I take six of them a day,” she explained.

Washington University lung cancer oncologists believed this new drug, Sotorasib, may be Cindy’s last chance.

“We were in a tough situation where the tumor was popping up everywhere,” said Siddhartha Devarakonda, MD, an oncologist at Washington University School of Medicine.

Sotorasib targets tumors caused by a specific DNA mutation, blocking cancer cells from multiplying.

“She had this huge lump that was sitting on the, on her belly. We knew that that was bad. And when we started the drug within a couple of weeks, I can no longer find it on the exam,” said Devarakonda.

One week after starting the trial, Morris was able to cut her pain medication in half. Three weeks into the trial, Morris’ tumors began shrinking. Now two years later she’s still taking the drug. All but one tumor in her lung have disappeared.

“I’ve done a mission trip. I’ve been back to my church. I mean, I feel like me again,” said Morris.

Researchers say in 80% of the 126 patients on the trial, tumors got smaller, or the growth did not progress.

Sotorasib is FDA approved and sold under the brand name Lumakras.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.

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