In the News
Woman’s lethal cancer disappears after gene-matched therapy, leaving her in full remission
Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
Less than three years ago, Teresa McKeown of Valley Center was nearing the end of her struggle with lethal metastatic breast cancer. But after getting a drug genetically matched to her tumor’s mutations, she became cancer free.
McKeown, 57 still has no trace of the cancer. She credits her turnaround to a clinical trial called I-PREDICT at UC San Diego. The trial seeks to craft therapies for maximum response to mutations in each patient’s tumor. Results were released Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.
McKeown was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. After a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, she went into remission. But in 2016 her cancer returned.
This time, chemotherapy didn’t work, nor did other treatments.
Tumors clogged her intestines, preventing her from eating. Her weight dropped below 100 pounds. Her pain became nearly intolerable, and she began considering going into hospice care.
Close to death, McKeown was operated on by UCSD surgeon Jason Sicklick in November 2016. With the intestinal tumors removed, she could eat again. But the cancer remained elsewhere, far too widely dispersed to be removed by surgery.
“The cancer just seemed to be getting ahead of the power curve for me,” she said.