How a new cancer treatment helped Frederick

Frederick had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer and given less than a year to live…

But he refused to accept that this was the end.

So he called our team for a Second Opinion

And this Zoom call changed everything.

Our team immediately identified a new treatment that would give Frederick his life back. We then helped him to access this new treatment through his current doctor – and fully covered by his local hospital!! So Frederick was able to stay at home, continue working with his public oncologist, and get rapid access to the very best, leading-edge cancer treatment.

More than that, his public oncologist is now going to treat future patients with the same life-saving protocol!

So Frederick not only saved himself but he has now helped to ensure that other patients will also have access to this treatment.

THIS is the power of precision cancer medicine and cancer care advocacy!

Watch the video to learn more:

Read on to discover how our team of cancer experts and advocacy specialists helped Frederick get the care he needed and reclaim his health – after being told there were no more options left for him.

Why Frederick reached out for our help

Frederick is a 63-year-old man with metastatic gastroesophageal cancer (GEJ) with metastasis to the liver, lungs and lymph nodes.

His public system oncologist had gone above and beyond what most oncologists would have done and had ordered testing for HER2 receptor. The HER2 receptor is a cell surface receptor commonly found in high numbers in HER2 positive breast cancer, for which there are many effective FDA-approved targeted drugs available.

Since Frederick was not a candidate for surgery, his oncologist had put him on a combination of Trastuzumab (Herceptin), Carboplatin and Fluorouracil. His oncologist told him that he would likely only live another 10-12 months with this treatment and that he should get his affairs in order.

Frederick was not happy with this prognosis, as you can imagine.

So he reached out to us for a Precision Second Opinion consultation. 

Our team got straight to work to help Frederick! 

What happens in a Precision Second Opinion Consult?

As part of all Second Opinion consultations, we followed our unique, highly successful protocol:

  1. Collection and organization of medical records to share with treatment team and family
  2. Personalized research to determine all possible new treatment options (newest peer-reviewed studies) proven to be more effective than your current treatment or what your oncologist is planning to prescribe via standard care
  3. 1:1 Zoom consultation with patient and family, which is recorded and can be shared with your doctor and anyone else
  4. Written report of treatment recommendations and consult overview, to share with your treatment team and doctor
  5. Follow-up to ensure everything is on track and answer any additional questions

Our team collected all of Frederick’s medical records – including important records that are not normally provided to patients – and organized them so that his treatment team was able to see everything clearly and make sense of it. (His medical records were organized in the following manner: Doctors Notes, Pathology, Imaging, Blood Work and Treatments.)  

We shared these notes with Frederick and his family. Frederick was surprised by what his oncologist had written about him in his private notes as he had a very different recollection of how his appointments went and what was discussed. 

Secondly, our team of experts reviewed his medical records and conducted personalized research for peer-reviewed studies to find all of the possible new treatment options for his type of cancer and how they compared to one another. 

Then we met with Frederick and his family for a 1-hour online call via Zoom to discuss our findings. 

Finding life-saving cancer treatment options for Frederick 

Frederick and his family were shocked…

Frederick had been told by his oncologist that he was getting the newest and best treatments, but our team uncovered several other treatment options that were shown to be providing patients with significantly better outcomes and survival rates than what he was receiving.


New cancer treatment options

The first treatment we identified was based on the KEYNOTE 811 trial. 

By simply adding an immunotherapy drug (Keytruda) to Frederick’s current treatment program, his chance of responding to treatment would increase from 47.0% with his current plan to 74.4% with a chance of being cancer-free (complete response) of 11% versus only 3% with his current plan. 

Importantly, there were also two previous studies with similar results from adding this immune drug to chemo. 

  1. In the PANTHERA trial, 77% responded to the combination and it controlled the disease in 98% patients with 77% alive at 12 months. 
  2. In the MSKCC study 91% responded to the combination (17% had a complete response); it controlled the disease in 100%; and 80% of patients were still alive at 12 months; and 50% were still alive at 27.2 months – with only a very minimal increase in side effects.

This was great news!

This new protocol, which would give him a much better chance at long-term survival, as well as a good chance of becoming cancer-free, was already FDA approved! 

Frederick could access it immediately! 

While Frederick and his family were overjoyed at this news, Frederick also felt frustrated and dismayed…

Frederick’s doctors had not known anything about this superior treatment option, which was already available to him in Canada. They didn’t tell him about it or offer it to him as an option, let alone first-line treatment.

This is why it’s crucial to get a Second Opinion from a non-biased source – like CTOAM – who provides information regarding treatment options based on the newest scientific data and peer-reviewed medical journals.

What about the new treatment cost?

In case this extra drug was not covered in Frederick’s province, our team was able to find the lowest cost for this drug by searching international online pharmacies that deliver oncology drugs to Canada – and at a fraction of what he would otherwise pay for it in Canada!

And finally, we told Frederick that if he was prepared to pay for a few months of this drug, all his Canadian oncologist had to do was write a prescription. 

Guess what else?

Frederick’s Canadian oncologist did not even know he was able to write a prescription for any FDA approved drug – without having to get permission from his superiors or Health Canada! 

What does this mean for YOU?

There may very well be a superior FDA approved treatment for your cancer available, now, than the treatment you are currently on…a superior treatment that will provide you with a significantly higher chance of beating cancer and living a high quality of life! 

Not only that…but your oncologist may even be able to provide you with an immediate prescription for that superior treatment! And you may very well be able to get it fully covered or, at the very least, access it at a greatly reduced cost price. 

But in order to find out any of these options, you need to bridge the gap between what’s currently possible (so much!) and what is offered through standard cancer care in your province. 

That’s where we come in

But first let’s get back to Frederick’s story, so you can see how everything turned out.

Frederick meets with his oncologist to discuss the new cancer treatment

Armed with this new information (about the superior FDA approved treatment options and their simple accessibility) and copies of the studies we discussed, Frederick booked an appointment with his oncologist to discuss this new data. 

Prior to the appointment, our team’s Advocacy Specialist coached Frederick on how to “discuss new treatments with doctors.” This type of coaching is highly valuable to reduce a patient’s stress surrounding meeting with their doctor and to ensure the highest chance of a successful outcome.

During the appointment, Frederick confidently discussed this new information with his oncologist. Frederick’s doctor agreed to look into the new drug and options for access. 

Frederick gets life-saving cancer treatment for free

A week later his oncologist called him and shared the great news:

The doctor happily agreed to give Frederick the immune therapy drug (Keytruda) immediately – and the hospital was going to provide the drug to Frederick FREE of charge.

And there’s more!

What comes next is significant, since this is how more folks than just Frederick can benefit from patient advocacy work…

From this point onward, Frederick’s oncologist is now going to be using this new protocol for all of their new GEJ cases. 

Not only has Frederick’s advocacy saved his own life, but he has also changed how this cancer is being treated at his local cancer agency for other patients moving forward! 

This is very important to Frederick – knowing that the effort he has invested into advocating for his own health and cancer care is going to benefit countless more patients from here on out.  

And, that’s still not all of the story! 


More (superior) cancer treatment options for down the road!

Our team also told Frederick about another FDA approved drug that would work for him if the first-time treatment stopped working at any point. 

This treatment, called T-DXd, is an amazing new technology based on the DESTINY-Gastric01 trial that combined an antibody for HER2 with a chemotherapy drug. In a nutshell, this drug (called a conjugate) binds onto the HER2 receptor on his tumor cells and then releases it into the tumor cell, killing it with great efficacy – and without the side effects that come from filling the entire body with chemotherapy drugs. 

Additionally, not only does this drug kill the tumor cell it attaches to, it also kills the neighboring cells which may have lost their HER2 receptors – something tumor cells can do over time as the disease develops. In the trial, 38% of patients responded to this drug and 50% were still cancer-free at 5.5 months, which is almost double the number of patients that respond to the standard second-line treatment of Ramucirumab/Paclitaxel.

T-DXd is also FDA approved for late stage metastatic HER2 positive gastric cancers after Trastuzumab (Herceptin) based therapies stop working. So Frederick will have no problem accessing this excellent treatment if he ends up needing it at any point.

How a Precision Second Opinion can help YOU!

Prior to reaching out to us, Frederick’s oncologist had told him he had no more than one year left and to get his affairs in order.

Alex Rolland, Chief Research Director (CTOAM) and globally recognized Precision Cancer Medicine expert.

After booking a Precision Second Opinion, Frederick was able to:

  1. Get several new first-line FDA approved treatment recommendations proven to be more effective for his cancer than his current treatment
  2. Get a second-line FDA approved treatment recommendation proven to be more effective than what is otherwise prescribed for second-line in standard care
  3. Access the life-saving treatment for FREE through his local hospital
  4. Coaching tips and strategies for advocating for treatments with doctors
  5. Change the way his cancer is treated at his local cancer agency, giving countless other future patients a much better chance of long-term survival and remission!
  6. Confidence that he is now getting the very best cancer care available, worldwide, and giving himself the very best chance at beating cancer asap and remaining cancer-free for as long as possible.

…All of the above came from a simple phone call and getting a Precision Second Opinion with our team. 

And through it all, Frederick did not need to change oncologists, travel anywhere, or pay any other cancer treatment centres. He stayed at home and did everything through the local cancer agency and his current public doctor, with the support of our team.  

Hope is here.

Book a life-changing Precision Second Opinion today.

Not ready to get a second opinion with our lead cancer expert? Our team also offers a free 30-minute session where you can ask any questions you have about Precision Cancer Medicine and how it can help you. Apply today!

Want to read more cancer patient success stories?

See how we helped other folks like Sheila, Lilian, Korey, and Sven. You can also read testimonials from our patients and see additional case stories here.

Reach out anytime if you have any questions or book a Free 30-min Cancer Care ‘Breakthrough’ Strategy Session with our team.

Published by on April 15, 2023