Linda Boyed, a healthy 52-year-old was on vacation with family in when she suddenly began experiencing a constant feeling of fatigue. By the time she returned home, her skin had yellowed. Her doctor passed her to an oncologist, who told her she was suffering from cancer of the bile ducts in her liver had already spread beyond chemotherapy or surgery’s reach–a lethal diagnosis. But Linda and her husband wouldn’t accept the defeatist prognosis. They took it upon themselves to track down doctors and scientists who would be able and willing to apply cutting edge research on a seemingly hopeless cause.

They came across a doctor at Ohio State’s cancer center who was running experimental studies of drugs for GI cancers. Boyed signed up. Genetic tests on her tumors revealed a mutation in a gene called FGFR (short for “fibroblast growth factor receptor”), which was causing the cancer’s growth. The doctor gave her an experimental drug, called BGJ398, to inhibit the action of the FGFR mutation. Boyed’s symptoms cleared, the tumors halted growth, and she regained the weight she had lost.

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Actions To Consider:

  • If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic or fatal illness, get multiple opinions from different specialists before accepting any conclusions.
  • Do your own research. There are so many new developments occurring in medicine and therapies every day, your solution may be out there.
  • Keep a pulse on research studies and universities focused on the illness you’re concerned with.

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