OMF - Andy Wall, 53, glioblastoma (brain cancer), Newtown, CT, with Dr. David Reardon, director, Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber 8-15-17

Andy Wall is a 22-year veteran of the Monroe, CT police department. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma in September 2015. A few days prior to his diagnosis, he noticed that he was talking strangely out of the side of his mouth and thought that he was having a dental problem. His wife made him go to hospital and get checked out after work. He got out of work at 3 p.m. and was diagnosed by 9 p.m. with brain cancer. He was shocked, terrified and overwhelmed, especially when he googled “glioblastoma” to figure out what it was. His family immediately called Dana-Farber and got him in for a consultation. Andy says if he writes a book, he is going to entitle it “6 hours” because that is the amount of time it took for his entire life to be turned upside down.  Andy had his tumor removed and immediately began treatment with Dr. Reardon. He received chemotherapy, radiation, and the immunotherapy drug Opdivo via a clinical trial. Andy was tolerating the chemotherapy extremely well at first, but recently began vomiting blood because the chemotherapy had attacked his bone marrow and as a result, he began suffering major blood complications. He was in the hospital for 15 days, and does not remember some of it. He continues to receive the immunotherapy drug infusion every two weeks at Dana-Farber, and is in remission. He is the poster child for the potential impacts of immunotherapy and combination treatments. He says, “I simply can’t believe it, I’m amazed. It’s nothing short of a miracle.” Andy and his wife Lori have a 12-year- old son, AJ. Andy spends his time these days enjoying daily activities with his son, such as flying a drone, building small rockets, and watching AJ’s baseball games.

Dr. David Reardon is a nationally recognized expert in brain cancer. His career objective has been to improve outcome for brain tumor patients. Initially (July 1995-Dec 1998), he ran a laboratory at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital dedicated to identifying genetic abnormalities in pediatric brain tumors and conducted clinical research. He then joined the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center (PRTBTC) at Duke University (Oct 2000-July 2011) as an adult neuro-oncologist where he led daily clinical/translational research operations as Associate Deputy Director. His department saw 800 brain tumor referrals and conducted 10-15 clinical trials annually. He came to the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber (July 2011) because the research opportunity offered unmatched potential for neuro-oncology. In 2013, Dr. Reardon was elected President of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, the major society in the field. He sees the evolution of neuro-oncology as cautiously optimistic and hopes that we can advance the successful treatment rate for brain cancer patients using immunotherapy advances.


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I'll we will have the Red Sox outfield the entire outfielders. Here and me at 1 o'clock hour Dave Dombrowski is gonna join us here in about 25 when 25. Minutes but I want you to meet anti war it is a twenty year veteran of the Monroe Connecticut police department. And along side him is doctor David Reardon. From the Dana Farber and I stuck with your story and because. You said you just woke up one day and you were talking out of the side of your mouth. And you thought it was like a dental problem did you go to the dentist. Slightly assistant to doctor to retrace her fault the doctor. That they always know Barney you know right there always felt it best when it soil at the doctors to. 3 PM. 9 PM that night. Blessed for summit ever heard. We from three and 926. Hours to get stuck 3 o'clock yet. So I'm just in Beijing driving a 3 o'clock in France and by nine at six hours yet that's that's just exchanging a like title. Well it's it's going to be very durable. I hit it. So in the during those six hours what's. What's going on in your life for communication with wife friends family doctor and oyster foam blowing how. I was going on I didn't ultimately that night. Sleep obsolete so you do and union teller well. You know it was gonna change things now iPhone next day of course but yet I knew it public rather. It was a working on a plan. And what is that plan and it in title. Basically did an apartment we call appear to make an appointment with the city of soon after yeah that you remove various surgeries yeah how soon after four days. Four days after yet. I like a bag and ultimately the nineties. And add up to 24 I got to remove those rose four days. Well it just that work. Although there is things happen normally this quickly you know we've we've typically move pretty quickly to get patients take care of them and make sure we. Get things on track as quickly as possible though we're dealing with them prevent any further problems from development of time is very important. And you had a cumulative dried didn't quite. Deal with this pilot zero and I guess it all I guess they never really goes over you really had a lot of complications I did the other efforts made it five weeks with no problems at all. In the middle of the fifth week. An internal bleeding in the icu effort. Thirteen days. Pretty close to check obvious you don't remember anything at all Barbara summit there were days. Some days bulls. When you shouldn't you how many how much money did you everybody. All of I. So that's what what happens when there complications that what we're goes wrong. Well. The chemotherapy there's a whole host of problems and issues that can develop. What happens with Andy was actually pretty uncommon and pretty unusual. But we had a great team that mobilized pretty quickly because he was acutely ill and becoming quite unstable actually. And took a whole team of specialist working around the claw for a number of days actually to get things stabilized and fortunately they did. And subsequent to that. He's actually responded tremendously. To his subsequent therapy. Is more months or patience actually. Nearly India knows you sons and it will result. Yeah indirectly based both of these great detail of it which I personally I your wits and out east and usually diagnosed. Of Heidi have that conversation was how do you talk to a tenure you know he's pretty mature for his age we say it was a shame earlier musical soul. Listen to Frank's old real and yet if we and we want to you listen to some length but you know he asked me the Golan. I told terms if you wanna be starkly Peru Punto model idol here. Eagle on the stage who it's easy to see what's happening. We have quite a few out there he understands. And doctor Holland based on everything that's going on what you've seen how important. Is it is a gym on radio itself on. It's important to the reserves that developed at him for. What's up. Living here with radio Thalmann and Jimmy Fund and WEEI all of your support is critical to the mission and the advances coming forward at the Dana Farber especially at this point in time. In the current era we're looking at major cuts are coming through the National Cancer Institute in the national institute of health. Now projected in the millions of dollars for cancer reserve going away. And we couldn't keep going with the research that we're doing and making advances hoping. Patients do better without philanthropy and support from the radio on them the Jimmy Fund is is critical tool that. Without it much work would be dying on the vines research work. We don't import the clinical trials are how quickly does this stuff turnovers in that there's something new right on the horizon. For for round here is some specific situation. So. In my laboratory we were working on research using immunotherapy treatments in animal models of burning cancer. We published a paper within a year and with that we have published paper when you're within a year we have clinical trial and running. That actually and he's still apartment and the responded quite well through some things. Have to move pretty quickly they have to move quicker these diseases or are devastating. Patients need to better outcomes and better treatments. He reductions that contended that. If your race to me briefly here but a few presidents decided neuro oncology. Some things you've been passed in the Indian just wondered that you know you the company that my doctors who but a you know this is. I expect the ourselves behind the scenes overseeing a group of doctors looks that with what you've accomplished in your life. In this is your doctor so so many things went my way if it's incredible odds that. Fighter does my public looks sort of miracle honestly. But the deceptive statement to get treatment you get it yet to be admissible in all I think it was pretty good news yeah on an oil. Dead in the difference between. What we're seeing now the investment in medical research and what you're able to do now compared to what ten years ago fifteen years ago to a. Or even it even just in the last few years things have been people pretty dramatically but technology for now what we can do to analyze tumors. With genomics and and analyzing immune cells in it and various responses mechanism of resistance is dramatic the technology fortunately has evolved. And we're very fortunate to have access to all of that state of the art technology to tap into the take advantage of but it costs money and we can't do that work we can't do that research without without the Jimmy Fund of this type of type of support. I'm very fortunate. To be able to take care of patience like candy with the state of the art we have. And the phenomenal team we have by kick Britain do what I'm not doing without all of their support our nurses. Our purse midlevel support my colleagues positions research support it takes a huge team to do to make this work. I think that and that's one thing we're trying to get across to people out there is that we still need the money and you're hearing a lot of success stories. An early on in this radio telephone there were not great stories there were stories of people really struggling now we're seeing a lot of great stories like like the end zone via. But they still need the money because there's a long way to go here a long way to go well. We're we're seeing a signal of benefit here the immunotherapy treatments are helping. Patience but it is still only a minority the majority still architecture right the benefit we need. So the next generation of research and studies and clinical trials coming forward are going to be bringing. More effective combinations together to move the bar on into it forward a bit. So each each step is critical here in and you're right we have a long way to go and especially afraid to answer a question about that. But there are important signals out there and and where we're doing our best to move far forward as the last couple years that you and how far you have gone and a how encouraging is that is serious vision or something you'd see five years and years from them. Well we've learned an amazing amount of what makes these tumors behave the way they do what makes them tick. On that research has opened up tremendous opportunities now that we can begin to exploit their uniquely with new new treatments new approaches. Not to be able to take advantage of that knowledge that my colleagues in the research laboratories have helped us. Develop a thought brain cancer and so many other challenging cancers as well. We're on the cutting edge now moving those treatments based common knowledge into the clinic to help patients so I think it is a very. Very exciting time that we have a long ago. Guys we really appreciate any continue to get great health of excitement rush thank you very much. And now all gentlemen thank you know hopefully people hear what you just said and get to the phone right now and dial up 877. 7381234. That's 8777381234. It's great thank you into a blockage right.