NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Money raised at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life impacts programs for cancer patients — research for new treatments and a cure.
It was a lifeline for Dr. Ranjit Bindra at Yale Cancer Center.
He says, “The grant came at a time when our lab was desperately in need of funding. We were just getting started.”
Dr. Bindra was just getting started, using radiation sensitizers for primary brain tumors – aimed at extending survival rate.
“In many cases the overall survival for patients diagnosed with a primary brain tumor such as glioblastoma is maybe 12-14 months.”
Most brain tumors regrow at the same site. This cutting edge approach focuses on preventing the tumor from returning.
A drug, currently approved for high blood pressure, is at the center of it.
“We give them the drug several days before they start radiation,” says Dr. Bindra, “and then we give them daily radiation with the drug with the idea of sensitizing the effects of the radiation.”
A phase one clinical trial — led to remarkable responses.
Dr. Bindra explains, “Even though this part is getting exposed to the radiation sensitizers, the radiation is only being delivered here. And the benefit to the patient? The benefit to the patient is increased local control, so we prevent this tumor from coming back in this area.”
More studies ahead — likely two to three years before patient use.
“I had no idea it was coming and I had no idea what was happening my world changed Feb 22nd, 2016,” recalls Larry Cass.
He is in remission from stage three colon cancer – blessed he benefits from the current cancer care and research.
Larry says, “Maybe my kids live in a world that it doesn’t exist.”
He and his kids are participating in Relay for Life — to do what they can to eliminate a disease that continues to affect the lives of so many.
In the next three weekends, there are a number of Relay for Life events across the state. There are ten sites this weekend.
For more information on how you can participate — go to http://www.relayforlife.org.