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Groundbreaking clinical trial at Sparrow

Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 11:00:27-05

"This opens enormous possibility and opportunity for patients who otherwise would not have any other options for active treatment," said Dr. Gordan Srkalovic.

The trial is called TAPUR and it's breaking new ground.

"So this is completely new paradigm in oncology research," said Dr. Srkalovic.

In a normal cancer treatment, doctors target the specific stages of cancer. But in TAPUR, doctors are targeting the cancer based on genetics.

"Recently we developed gene tools that we can identify gene mutations in specific cancers," Dr. Srkalovic said.

In other words the treatment is tailored specifically to the patient. And one of the patients in this trial is Marlene Parker.

"I trust my doctor and if he thinks I need a treatment, I get it," Marlene Parker said."And it's helped me because i'm still here i'm still going."

The doctors running the trial will evaluate a patient's eligibility on a case-by-case basis (for more info on if you are eligible see the contact info below).

"So it's really targeting patients who under normal circumstances really wouldn't have any other options," Dr. Srkalovic said.

This new treatment could give patients some new hope.

"It's something else that i can look forward to if this one that I'm on now- if this clinical trial that i'm on now- if it doesn't work," Joyce Hedin said. Joyce is not in the TAPUR program, but she may be eligible in the future.

And while it's too early to know if the TAPUR program will work, doctors at Sparrow are optimistic that they're on to something here.

To find out if you are eligible for the TAPUR program you can call the clinical specialists at 517-364-2835

Eligible participants include those with an advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma or b cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are no longer benefiting from standard treatments or for whom no acceptable standard treatment is available.