Bill Schrul, a stage 4 lung cancer survivor, shares how a clinical trial has changed his outlook.
I’m Bill Schrul, and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in June of 2012. You’ve heard from my wife, Teri, and my clinical trial doctor, Dr. Sequist. Now it’s my turn to tell my story.
For my EGFR mutation, the first line of treatment was Tarceva. It worked exceptionally well in 3-4 days, however because targeted therapy drugs tend to lose effectiveness at around the 1-year mark, my oncologist encouraged me to find a clinical trial so I would have that option if I needed it. Last December, Tarceva started to become ineffective. I was incredibly fortunate to be accepted into a clinical trial at Mass General in Boston and start the new treatment in January of this year.
Thanks to this clinical trial, I don’t look or feel like a guy with stage 4 lung cancer. I am a walking testament to how clinical trials can impact a lung cancer patient’s life. My chances on this clinical trial are so much better than they would be on chemo.
The trial is working, but I know that this treatment will not work forever. I am holding onto hope that other treatment options will be available when I need them.
The challenge to progress is that there are very few cancer patients in clinical trials – only 3%. This is limiting treatment options for those facing lung cancer! Free to Breathe will be funding programs in 2015 dedicated to getting more patients enrolled in trials. We have to increase funding so clinical trials, and their resulting treatment options, can benefit more patients.
Please consider making a donation to help fund these programs. Your donation could change what a lung cancer diagnosis means to a patient and their family.
Originally posted at A CLINICAL TRIAL CHANGED MY OUTLOOK