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  • Dr. Robert A. Nagourney, MD

WHEN THERE’S NO RIGHT ANSWER THERE ARE MANY WRONG ANSWERS

Selecting cancer treatment can be challenging and patients with recurrent diseases are particularly challenging.


One patient with recurrent HER2(+) breast cancer who’d received aggressive post-op therapy years earlier, recurred at the site of surgery with the same HER2 (+) disease.


When they asked for an opinion we examined the case very closely and realized this was a solitary recurrence.


As our laboratory utilizes tissue to select amongst drugs, we explained that a surgical procedure could provide a sample. However, most physicians today use neoadjuvant therapy, and give treatment before surgery, to determine whether the patients will respond.


At my suggestion, the patient visited several famous medical centers. The problem, every one of these accomplished investigators recommended a different approach. One liked Taxol plus Trastuzumab another suggested TDM-1 while some suggested Trastuzumab Deruxtecan.


The patient returned more confused than ever!


Clearly, these famous doctors were offering their best advice but it is obvious they are just guessing. That’s right, the most famous, accomplished, and published scientists in cancer are nothing more than world-famous guessers.


What these doctors were recommending was an in vivo chemosensitivity test. That is, they were asking this patient to take their drugs so they could measure cancer while it was still in her body.


We pioneered the concept of conducting these approaches ex vivo, or outside of the body and the academics hated us. However, today every major medical center is rediscovering our approach.


When it comes to selecting treatments, you do not want to guess and when it comes to using laboratory models, you would like to use laboratory platforms that have been tested, tried, and true. While newer entrants in the field can point to their first dozen examples, we have conducted over 12,000 patient studies and our data is compelling.


If you or someone you know is undergoing surgery or has a recurrent disease, contact our laboratory, we will help you figure out the best treatment – and we do not guess.


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