OMF - Barry Nelson, 64, non-small-cell lung cancer, Boston, with Dr.Christopher Lathan, medical director, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center 8-16-17

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 16th

Barry was diagnosed in 2012 with stage 3 lung cancer after experiencing swelling in his neck that had repeatedly showed up and disappeared several times. He went to see his primary care doctor and an oncologist. He was told he had 18 months to live in 2012. Barry went to see Dr. Lathan for a second opinion and wound up staying to be treated at Dana-Farber. Barry's treatment included chemotherapy, radiation, and a few clinical trials. In February 2014, he began a trageted gene therapy called immunotherapy. This saved Barry's life. He says this "is when my whole life began to change." Barry has been off treatment since February 2016 and healthy. He previously served as a certified risk manager and has two adult daughters. He is very active in church. Sang in church's choir and other volunteer work with church, prayer partner program, currently a lay servant at church, rides his bike, attends conferences with Dr. Lathan and Dr. Freeman. Barry is incredibly grateful to the entire team at Dana-Farber that he credits with saving his life. Barry had the oppotunity to meet Dr. Gordon Freeman, a researcher at Dana-Farber, who's work helped start the field of immunotherapy. Barry was so touched to meet the man whose work led to the creation of the treatment he is currently on.

Dr. Lathan has been a member of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber since 2005 and was appointed as the first Faculty Director of Cancer Care Equity at Dana-Farber in 2010. He directs a successful Dana-Farber clinical service at Whittier Street Health Center in Boston where he developed a lung cancer screening pilot program with the support of a CVS pharmacy foundation grant. He is also a leading researcher in Dana-Farber’s Population Sciences Center on issues of race and class disparities in cancer care and has published and lectured extensively on this topic. In addition to leading Dana-Farber at St. Elizabeth’s, Dr. Lathan works at Whittier Street Health Center and sees patients in his thoracic oncology practice at Dana-Farber’s Longwood campus. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provides the latest hematology and medical oncology care to patients at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. The partnership between Dana-Farber and St. Elizabeth’s enables patients to receive the benefit of Dana-Farber’s advances in care and research at their local hospital. Dana-Farber teams at St. Elizabeth’s and in Boston collaborate to review cases and develop the optimal treatment plan for patients.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Pilots let me bearing Nelson areas of 64 years of age and non small cell long cancer he's here with doctor Christopher. Late in the medical director in form and institutes and Elizabeth medical. We thank both of you for stopping in today and phones on the dock estimates because I'm looking at this area. You were diagnosed back in 2012. If you were told. You it in months away last time I checked this is 2007. Correct that's your. Signature think it's good to be here to post your story. Well as you indicated to back in March 2012. I woke up 1 morning. To slowly. Swollen by Nicklaus will want to see the doctor my primary physician Toby. It looks like after effects and come back in the bottle weakened misty you know it's the it is changing a week later the police have gone down on them but the next morning. He was back there again so I made another appointment went back to keep my primary physicians. They stiff on Friday they stick me to get an X ray. That was late in the afternoon Friday when I got home that afternoon like I called atlas and I need to go and get a CT scan on Saturday can you do this for me some idea way and then on Monday morning he called mean right before the Olympic thirtieth so let's listen. A there's something going we don't quite know what it is but I need to make yourself available this week and so we're gonna have to go see some specialists. And I'd do that there was something going on but also moved and had some great people working. Because the specialists that. That I had to see that we these are people that you can get appointments to these people that you know that looked up among them were movie you'll definitely a movie I mean I was like ocean to hit it in and week. You know I got a diagnosis of advanced lung cancer stage three B. And you know after leaving the talk a little more about that. So that's where the diagnosis came in the end you know sort of treatment initially. Receive radiation treatment I've started chemotherapy in both their beef eaten they really didn't work for me. So we continue to look at other options in. Evolve to clinical trials in the first round game didn't work for me. There a couple of years later doctors they. Just encouraged me to try it at the trial for and will there be in chains just figured out the things we can't current. Dot how does it get to the point where he sees someone tells them that hit eighteen months to live. The point where it finishes therapeutic treatments and sixteen as healthy. Right so I mean this is the thing about one cancer I've been able to see over the last ten years when I first started practicing. That's what who attack looks like you have lung cancer. Perhaps at the time would be maybe a year year and you know what's been amazing what's happening with the very he's he came on line right at the time we had more opportunities which you tell you I had a conversation very frank conversation piece on me. After the first set of there these were working where we talked about prioritizing things like there's a very windy city. He should listen. You know. They can go without the you you know you'd sit in place when you think you're going to be able to admit it July from the way it's always going to be normal but they can change for you and then it. And that EU. You know could fight yourself not able to do it in papers to be totally dependent on every one rousing support like he could even the bad. So don't really talk to me directly elect that you know more so I had to make some decisions and the decision that I made was the big beautiful home in Dorchester. To their home sold out that I really need to be worried about that. And I was working for Wessels of ads about an hour. But I need to focus on my health and so what I do with that moved to a small 750. Square foot. One bedroom apartment. Where I knew that would be able to get treatment and actually come home market go to the bathroom without you go to pitch and I will be. Notable impact from accidentally candles were supporting me. And it's through that process. That I took all of those other elements of life advocate focused. You know not only to the medication but also my relationship with god that this healing process again for me. You know doctors I think it's. To sit so intriguing and interesting to me on one hand that you've got to give them some frank news and on us information. And the other hand they're saying we ain't stopping. There's no quit there is no doors that are closing we're gonna keep looking for new treatment it is just it's a great lesson for. I'm just cancer patients for for people in general. Of what you guys go through in the information that your differences. How it's just it's got to be difficult due to continue the just look for new revenues. It is it is great to people that you talk to you mean keep keep thinking I have to look for another chance another option treatment. And I think that to heart talk talk about that that conversation sob fest which you want what you think is that this person was uncle my brother I cuts. I would want it now. Is this life threatening for me. Should I may be thinking about these larger issues like my house or should I be focusing on some other things it doesn't mean that there aren't other treatments when I Sadie you. But this is a very serious thing and this disease could take your life but I hear we're here we're gonna keep fighting this disease and keep. Looking for new treatments. As long as you're physically willing and able. And we're gonna keep looking even when their doesn't seem to be treatments on the horizon that's what the clinical trials do that's why all of this fund raising all the great work that you guys doing today that people. Listening for this is how we make those advances because. At one point a conversation when Barry said there aren't any of the treatment and then suddenly he was not a clinical trial. And that was what four years ago that was an. Fourteen yeah that was three years ago yes or. It erases all of that followed the dots and connect the dots it's. You talk about the money you and what we're doing right here allows you to come out with new treatments clinical trials which basically keeps people alive. Mean that's that's the outcome that's how. Importance. Extant I liked and it also key is hole yes because see. No one really understands it's that you get a diagnosis so many times when people get the diagnosis the first thing they think if I'm going to. And yet we all gonna die one day. But only god knows when that's gonna happen but a lot of times that's all people focus on that ultimately here so they stop living. But whatever the situation but we don't have hope we have a positions and you have. Research institutions like Dana Farber details I'm gonna fight just as hard as you fight but I have other tools toolbox and we're gonna use that dale view. That's the hope that people who'll. Get the start of that that's what they wanted and they find out what another two there with them you know very to find new tools in recent years and that's what this is all about how you feel now. I feel wonderful. Share with you. I have a little treatment at Purdue since February of two when he sixty. I go with these my wonderful doctor freak here every five months. And it with its own soon be every six. That very that we sit here with our exports of times syndicate this field this. Gillette and superstars and a favorite beat you you have them right there in his hospital right is that it's an all star race he calls a wanna ask you about doctor Gordon Freeman. If you an opportunity to meet him we talked a lot of immune therapy earlier well. He's one of those hall of fame guys tell people tell listeners who he has. He's a wonderful and you know every time I think about him by experience with him you know it. It's a little overwhelming for me because it's almost like meeting. Com. I remember. When I was starting you know their team like chains in. So many people hospital research team that say you know I want to meet someone who want to meet someone so they concede the results of their work. And that's it sure invite them to come in and immediately came to my apartment directly to productively to show him my. Skaters before it's not that you know there's. And they consultant to scared after I started you know he knew there and doctor Freeman I mean he was in law he you know. Like you said the researchers behind the scenes he doesn't meet people he does that all we see the results first hand a hell. Though the work they're doing affects people's lives. And you know the first thing he asked me was about my. Side effects from the medications and how without dealing with it and what could they look at it differently to help improve edit minister. The type of treatment they receive. I was in all and I've been blessed enough that I think even call for the united got a couple of conferences together what we speak together. About this treatment and the relationship that we are building. So it's that's it's been awful experience with him and with really all the research team that's available to you Dave Farber. Doctor Freeman's the one who developed its treatment that you're on right now and the reason you're here sitting in this very chair was. We wish the best of luck we hope bureau from the fifties like. All right I received death that day they got a good break a great meeting you got into.