Cancer breakthrough: Duke clinical trial destroys SC woman’s brain tumor

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — The FDA is calling a clinical trial that killed a cancerous brain tumor in an Upstate woman a medical breakthrough.

Stephanie at work now as a nurse.
Stephanie at work now as a nurse.

Stephanie Lipscomb was first diagnosed with brain cancer in July of 2011, at just 20 years old, during her sophomore year of college at USC Upstate.

Lipscomb received chemotherapy, radiation, and had a craniotomy to remove the tumor.

In April of 2012, the cancer returned. Stage 4 Glioblastoma. The most aggressive brain cancer, that has no cure.  Stephanie’s options were limited. She couldn’t have any more radiation, and her tumor didn’t respond well to chemo the first time.

Stephanie’s brain showing the large tumor
Stephanie’s brain showing the large tumor

Her doctors at Duke University suggested a clinical trial that had never been tried on humans, that had done well on primates.

The process would use a re-engineered polio virus, injecting it directly into the brain.

The polio attacked the tumor, first causing it to swell, then awakening the immune system to attack the tumor. Stephanie was the first human the new trial would be used on.

Within months, Stephanie’s tumor disappeared.

Stephanie, now a nurse, has now been cancer free for 4 years, and considers herself cured.

Stephanie’s tumor-free scan
Stephanie’s tumor-free scan

Dozens of patients responded positively to the trial and because of the success with Stephanie, the FDA has deemed the trial a medical breakthrough.

This allows researchers to have private companies raise money for more research and allow the trial to someday be opened up to all cancers.

Here’s a link to the polio virus trial at Duke: click here

1 thought on “Cancer breakthrough: Duke clinical trial destroys SC woman’s brain tumor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s