In the fall of 2020, Carole was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her initial reaction was a complete shock. She had recently retired after a successful 30-year career, and now a year later she was facing a life-altering cancer diagnosis.
It wasn’t long after her treatment began that Carole understood the importance of donors like you. With any cancer diagnosis comes uncertainty about what the future holds. Donor-funded research is creating new treatment opportunities and access to clinical trials for Manitobans like Carole.
Carole’s initial treatment plan entailed twelve weeks of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It was successful in shrinking the tumour on her lung but her cancer journey was far from over. She received the disappointing and frightening news the cancer in her lymph nodes was growing and further treatment was required.
Because of your generous support, Carole was given another treatment option.
After undergoing a series of genomic tests developed in part through donor contributions, it was confirmed that Carole’s cancer carried a rare gene mutation that made her eligible to participate in an international clinical trial led locally by CancerCare Manitoba medical oncologist and Director of Precision Medicine and Advanced Therapeutics, Dr Shantanu Banerji.
Carole was the first person in Canada to join the trial, meaning she would receive customized targeted therapy to specifically treat her type of cancer with very minor side effects. “We have learned through research that there are many rare mutations in lung cancer for which targeted therapies can be helpful,” said Dr Banerji.
Clinical trials are a way for Manitobans like Carole, to receive tomorrow’s treatments today.
Dr Banerji and other scientists at the CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute are engaged in research that is key to delivering targeted therapies to patients with cancer. “By developing a therapeutic plan based on the individual biology of a person’s cancer, it allows us to treat it in a very precise way, resulting in better outcomes and improved quality of life for the patient.”
A few months after starting the trial Carole went for a scan and received the wonderful news that the cancer in her body was shrinking. Today, while she continues with regular visits to CancerCare Manitoba and remains on a targeted treatment plan, she is living her life to the fullest. An advocate for cancer research, Carole is sharing her story and using her voice to create awareness of the importance of investing in science, right here at home, so more Manitobans like her can have more tomorrows with their loved ones.
“I’m living proof that donor investment in science and clinical trials has positive results.” -Carole