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Central Texas Lung Cancer Patient Finds Success in Clinical Trial Treatment

Publication: KCEN-TV (NBC), Waco
02/14/2016

A woman battling Stage 4 lung cancer says she’s lived a normal life, even after she was diagnosed in June 2012.

Carol Houston visits Waco’s Texas Oncology every two weeks for treatment. Since February 2015, she’s participated in clinical trials for Opdivo after it was recommended by her physician, Dr. Thomas Harris.

The drug is now FDA approved for treating non-small cell lung cancer. Opdivo works by unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancerous cells, bringing success to non-small cell lung cancer patients who were previously treated with chemotherapy.

This is particularly important to Waco residents as the Texas Cancer Registry found lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in McLennan County.

KCEN sat with Houston on Thursday, which also happened to be World Cancer Day. She described receiving the news in 2012 after a surgeon was unsuccessful at removing cancerous tumors from her lungs.

She’s just one of the thousands of people in the U.S. who get lung cancer without ever having smoked a cigarette. As many as 20% of people who die from lung cancer in the States don’t smoke or use any form of tobacco.

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