David was a pilot for Air Canada, with a loving wife and two young children. He had a good life. Young at heart and in his early 40s, he stayed fit by playing tennis and loved to relax spending time with his family and their giant fluffy black cat, Snickers, in their cozy Alberta home they’d newly renovated.
The Dreaded News: Stage IV Cancer…
Needless to say, getting cancer was not in David’s plans.
But as we all know, cancer doesn’t play fair. And in his early 40s David got the dreaded news: he had a particularly complex case of stage IV neuroendocrine cancer. Pretty much the worst case scenario, especially for someone so young.
His oncologist – one of the top neuroendocrine specialists in the country – told him chemo was his only option. And that he didn’t have much time left.
Refusing to believe that this was really it, David insisted on getting some more second opinions. After all, what did he have to lose? All would be lost either way if he didn’t.
So he got a second opinion from a different expert. They said the same thing as his oncologist: chemo and get your affairs in order.
The last sliver of hope all but drained from his body. Then a family friend told him about CTOAM.
David called us for a new second opinion.
Now, typically David’s type of cancer is extremely difficult to treat…even with precision oncology. But all was not yet lost.
We immediately sent David for comprehensive genetic testing. From the results we learned that David had an unusually high tumor mutation burden – the highest that our Director of Scientific Research, Alex Rolland, had ever seen!
Finding the Right Targeted Treatment
This was, oddly, actually great news.
Because Alex knew immediately that immunotherapy would almost certainly work very well for David.
We recommended this to David’s oncologist. She disagreed. She’d never used immunotherapy on a patient and, given that she was top in her field, was not about to start going outside standard protocol in a major way just like that.
So we sent his oncologist more studies that showed the connection between high tumor mutation burden and immunotherapy efficacy. With great skepticism she finally agreed to potentially try it – but only if David first went through yet another round of chemo and only after it stopped working.
So David went through more chemo. Not surprisingly, it stopped working after a few months.
He was going downhill and now had even less time than before.
Advocacy in Action
His oncologist then agreed to write the prescription for immunotherapy. There was nothing to lose now and we’d given her all the scientific proof to show he would benefit from it. David had his first immunotherapy shot just a few weeks later.
He started feeling better almost immediately.
He entered sustained remission after a few more treatments (over the span of about 6 months).
Now, more than 3 years later, David is technically cancer free andfeeling better than ever. He’s not suffering from side effects, either. He has his life back.
The immunotherapy was fully covered for David because we did advocacy work on his behalf and could show the proof that he needed it. He did not pay out of pocket for it.
Even better, his oncologist now has seen that immunotherapy can work in situations where it’s not yet standard protocol. This means in future more patients will benefit from it, through her and other oncologists, with fewer hoops to jump through.
No More Stage IV Cancer!
From stage IV with little time left to cancer free. And high quality of life.
David’s family and young kids are thrilled. His co-pilots are too. And David is, naturally, over the moon. Though still somewhat in shock over the turn of events and how fast everything changed…for the better!
He literally went from getting his will in order to enjoying his usual high-flying, family-filled life in less than a year.
All because he got a second opinion that used the very best Precision Oncology. (You can read David’s full case story here.)
This is the power of a good second opinion…
…And the importance of an accurate diagnosis:
Comprehensive tumor DNA sequencing, plus an experienced expert who can interpret the results properly. This is what made the difference for David.
You should have true confidence in your cancer care. Not just wishful hoping.
The Power of a Second Opinion
If you’re struggling with your cancer care right now, I invite you to join me for a 30-min Cancer Care Strategy Session – for free. I’ll help to answer any questions you have and what you can do to advocate to get better diagnostics and treatment asap.
To get a second opinion like the one David got, just click below. You’ll speak with our Director of Scientific Research, Alex Rolland, personally about your case and what your treatment options really are:
Each day I receive emails from people we’ve helped, thanking us for making a difference in their lives. Everyone deserves greater peace of mind when it comes to your health.
Know that you are not alone in your experience with cancer. We are here to help you through it, any way we can.on October 21, 2020
Tags: Immunotherapy, Precision Oncology, Remission, Second Opinion, Stage IV, Targeted Therapy, Targeted Treatment