‘It Helped Me Because I’m Here’: Why Diana Lopez Chose a Clinical Trial


Diana Lopez

When asked about achievements in her life, Diana Lopez of San Antonio, Texas, didn’t have to think long about her answer. Surviving cancer. Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42. Like many of those who are diagnosed, it was a shock to Lopez and her loved ones. “At the time I was scared because you think, they tell you, ‘You have cancer’ and you are like, ‘I’m going to die,’” Lopez said. With the help of a clinical trial – a study with volunteers that helps researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer –Lopez stayed strong and continued to fight, no matter the obstacle. A Cancer Diagnosis and its Impact Lopez discovered a lump on her breast. At first, she thought nothing of it. “I wasn’t hurting or anything. It ...

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‘Siento Que Me Ayudó, Porque Estoy Aquí’: Por qué Diana López Decidió Participar en un Estudio Clínico


Diana Lopez

Cuando se le preguntó sobre los logros en su vida, Diana López de San Antonio, Texas, no tuvo que pensar mucho en su respuesta. Sobrevivir al cáncer. López fue diagnosticada con cáncer de seno a los 42 años. Al igual que muchos de las personas que son diagnosticadas, fue un shock para López y sus seres queridos. "En ese momento tenía miedo porque piensas, te dicen: 'Tienes cáncer' y dices: 'Voy a morir'", dijo López. Con la ayuda de un estudio clínico – un estudio con pacientes que voluntariamente participan y que ayuda a los investigadores a aprender cómo reducir el progreso, controlar y tratar enfermedades como el cáncer – López se mantuvo fuerte y continuó luchando, sin importar el obstáculo. Un Diagnóstico de Cáncer y su Impacto López descubrió un ...

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‘Last Roll of the Dice’: How a Cancer Clinical Trial Saved Timothy Leech


Timothy Leech with wife Katie

Timothy Leech just celebrated his 40th birthday when he got news that changed his life. Timothy was diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, in 2014. Doctors told him he had only a short time to live. “I freaked out, for sure. I thought I was going to be gone real quick,” Timothy said. But, today, eight years later, Timothy is a cancer survivor. He credits his wife, Katie Leech, his medical team, and a clinical trial for getting him to where he is today – not entirely cancer-free but “so small that it’s immeasurable.” A clinical trial is a research study that helps researchers learn more to help slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer. “It was very much like, this [clinical trial] is the last roll of the dice here,” ...

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‘La Última Lanzada de Dados’: Cómo un Estudio Clínico de Cáncer Salvó a Timothy Leech


Timothy Leech with wife Katie

Timothy Leech acababa de celebrar su cumpleaños número 40, cuando recibió una noticia que cambió su vida. Timothy fue diagnosticado con carcinoma de células escamosas en etapa 4, una forma de cáncer de piel, en 2014. Los médicos le dijeron que le quedaba poco tiempo de vida. “Claro que me asusté, Pensé que me iba a ir muy rápido", dijo Timothy. Pero hoy, ocho años después, Timothy es un sobreviviente de cáncer. Él le da crédito a su esposa, Katie Leech, a su equipo médico y a un estudio clínico por llevarlo a donde está hoy, no completamente libre de cáncer, pero "tan pequeño que no se puede medir". Un estudio clínico es un estudio de investigación que ayuda a los investigadores a aprender más para ayudar a reducir el progreso, controlar y tratar ...

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Clinical Trial Identifies Potential Treatment for Asthma in Latino Children


asthma

Clinical trials can help researchers learn to better treat asthma – but they need diverse volunteers. Black and Latino children who have severe asthma, are prone to asthma attacks, and live in low-income urban neighborhoods are underrepresented in asthma treatment clinical trials, even though they are more likely than whites to face health inequities that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Fortunately, a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trial with mostly Black and Latino children found that a monoclonal antibody – mepolizumab – can decrease asthma attacks by 27%. Antibodies are made naturally in the body to fight infection. A monoclonal antibody is made in the laboratory and administered to patients to treat a variety of diseases and infections, ...

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‘Maybe I Can Help Somebody Else’: Willie Heard’s Unwavering Faith Through Clinical Trials


Willie Heard

Willie Heard is a man of faith. His faith stood strong even after he got tragic news in September 2013. Heard was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of bone marrow cancers in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. His cancer diagnosis came just months after retiring from his job at USAA and just shy of his 67th birthday. “I’m a religious person and a minister and, I think I remember telling the doctor, I said, ‘Doctor you do what you do, I’m gonna let God do what he does,’” said Heard, a resident of San Antonio, Texas.  “[The cancer diagnosis] was a surprise to me, but I’ve always been a person that don’t really worry about stuff I can’t control, so I don’t let that bother me.” Heard’s Decision to ...

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“Tal Vez Pueda Ayudar a Alguien Más”: La Fe Inquebrantable de Willie Heard a Través de los Estudios Clínicos


Willie Heard

Willie Heard es un hombre de fe. Su fe se mantuvo fuerte incluso después de recibir noticias trágicas en septiembre de 2013. Heard fue diagnosticado con síndrome mielodisplásico (SMD), un grupo de cánceres de médula ósea en los que la médula ósea no produce suficientes células sanguíneas sanas. Él recibió el diagnóstico de cáncer pocos meses después de retirarse de su trabajo en USAA y justo antes de cumplir 67 años de edad. "Soy una persona religiosa y un ministro y, creo que recuerdo haberle dicho al doctor, le dije: 'Doctor, haga lo que usted hace, y yo voy a dejar que Dios haga lo que Él hace'", dijo Heard, un residente de San Antonio, Texas. "[El diagnóstico de cáncer] fue una sorpresa para mí, pero siempre he sido una persona que realmente no se ...

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Positive Study Results Give New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients


Older Latina and family member

Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones have new reason for hope after positive results from clinical trial of a new treatment called lecanemab. Lecanemab – a drug designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by targeting amyloid plaque buildup in the brain – reduced the progression of cognitive decline among trial participants by 27% over 18 months, compared to placebo, according to UsAgainstAlzheimers. “This is very important and quite positive news that gives our nation’s 6 million Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones reason to hope again. In fact, the data is a reminder that each drug in this class of therapies is quite different,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimers. What do the results show, and how will ...

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Leonel Rodriguez: Helpful Treatment Through a Cancer Clinical Trial


Leonel Rodriguez latino cancer survivor

Leonel Rodriguez got some terrible news in November 2019. Doctors diagnosed Rodriguez, a South Texas resident, with mantle cell lymphoma – an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After going through several treatment options, his disease persisted. He soon learned about a potentially beneficial clinical trial for lymphoma patients at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Clinical trials help researchers learn how to better slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. “[Clinical trials were] the best way because, you know, I feel good now with the treatment,” Rodriguez said. “Now I feel I've been feeling well, and well, well.” Rodriguez’s Decision to Participate in a Clinical Trial Rodriguez first experienced problems in ...

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