Clinical Trial Proves Beneficial for Woman with Brain Tumor PKG

A woman shares how she is doing after five years in a clinical trial for glioblastomas at Cleveland Clinic and offers advice for others.

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CLEVELAND – For the past five years, Katy Sanchez has been participating in a clinical trial for glioblastomas at Cleveland Clinic.

“I usually tell people that I had cancer and now I don’t,” Katy explained.

Katy was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, which is an aggressive type of brain tumor that often reoccurs, back in 2017.

The news naturally came as a shock.

“I remember thinking they’ll just take it out and I’ll be fine, which is great in theory,” she recalled.

She initially had the tumor surgically removed and then went through chemo and radiation before joining the clinical trial.

“This medicine, SurVaxM, is designed to stimulate the immune system to attack a protein that sits on top of the glioblastoma cells but not on the surface of any normal cells,” described David Peereboom, MD, with the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers hope this medication can help keep glioblastoma at bay.

And for people like Katy, that’s exactly what it’s doing.

“Some patients are doing beautifully with it and have had control of their disease for a long time. And in some cases, up to 5 years and more, like in Katy’s case,” said Dr. Peereboom.

Katy said it’s been a true miracle and is grateful to have found the trial.

She also has some advice for others: don’t give up.

“What do I need to do to put this in our past and move forward and live my life normally? So, I do what the doctors tell me,” Katy said.

The clinical trial is ongoing and continues to accept new participants.

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