The first ‘long-term survivor’ in a new brain tumor study is giving doctors hope.
Stephanie Hopper wasn’t expected to live much longer.
In 2011, she was only 20 -years-old when she received a diagnosis of stage 4 glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma is a malignant brain tumor affecting an estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. per year . The survival rates is improbably low and can technically never be “cured.”
But Hopper got lucky when she tried an innovative new therapy. She was the first patient in a study that used a modified version of the polio vaccine to assault cancer cells, and Hopper went into remission. Today, she’s working as a pediatric oncology nurse and was lately marriage. She still has occasional seizures, but is receiving medication to help control them.
“I believe wholeheartedly that it was the panacea for me, ” Hooper , now 27, told about the therapy. “Most people wouldn’t guess that I had brain cancer.”
It’s not a miracle cure, but the care does hold promise for future treatments.
The study Hopper took its participation in is attaining headlines because of the promise it presents for other patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, a condition that has received a lot of attention this year specially because of the diagnosis given to U.S. Sen. John McCain( R-AZ ).
Only 21% of those taking part in the Duke University study have suffered “long term survival.” Researchers involved in the study say that’s mainly because different people have responded differently to the introduction of the modified polio vaccine.
Those resulting the study are quick to caution against unfounded optimism, but are still very excited about its potential, even with the small sounding success rates from the first trial group.
“I’ve been doing this for 50 times and I’ve never seen ensues like this, ” said Dr. Darell Bigner .
With the promising early ensues, they’re now hoping to expand the test group to more people.
“The big question is, how is impossible to make sure that everybody responds? ” said Dr. Annick Desjardins, who was part of the study team.
Stephanie Hopper is a story of hope. It’s also one floored in the promise of scientific and medical research.
Anyone afflicted by cancer — either directly or through a pal or family member — knows just how important hope is .
Having something to believe in can make all the difference for an individual, but it can also offering inspiration to every young person out there “ve been thinking about” a job in medicine as a researcher or health care provider. And having people like Hopper to root for stirs it a cause even more worth fighting for.