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Friday December 1, 2000

Hero Doctor

It's a new treatment that's buying precious time for cancer patients. A vaccine/ chemotherapy combo and Phil Shuman tells us it's the brainchild of an L.A. surgeon in today's RXtra.

"To go inside the human brain and see the structure of the human brain that is as close as I could ever come to looking at God's art."

"God's Art," Dr. Keith Black's term for the mysterious and beautiful human brain. But just as he marvels at its wonder, he must constantly plan ways to attack it. Dr. Black is a top brain surgeon who goes where other doctors will not.

He says, "I could not think of a diagnosis that is more devastating than the diagnosis of a brain tumor."

It devastated Eric Shaver. In September, his doctors told this fifty-three-year-old he had an inoperable brain tumor and only months to live. He came to Dr. Black who gave him hope and so far his future to look forward to because Dr. Black removed 100 percent of the tumor.

Eric says, "Let's put it this way, I feel Dr. Black has given me the best shot on a human level to survive a very very difficult prognosis."

Patients from all over the world, many who've been told there is no hope, come to see Dr. Black here at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California. He says, "With each patient you see you give a little bit of your soul. It's the power of touch, the power of healing that goes beyond just doing the surgery and giving the medicine."

Phil Shuman: "What is it like standing in the operating room with someone's brain exposed in front of you… in a life or death situation."

Dr. Black: "You get into an entirely different zone. There's something extra that allows one to find a safe corridor, to sneak into the human brain in a way that the brain never realized you have been there."

But there's always a risk that the cancerous cells will return. So that's why Dr. Black spends time in the research lab as well as the operating room, working on what could be a groundbreaking cancer vaccine using cells taken from the patients own tumor to create a custom made vaccine that helps the body destroy the cancer.

He says, "If we give radiation therapy, it's going to come back, if we give chemo it is going to come back. The most powerful defense we have against cancer is the bodies own immune system."

So far the experimental treatment is working for forty four year old John Rolland. He's been cancer free for more than two and a half years. Dr. Black removed his brain tumor, treated him with chemo and then gave him the new vaccine.

Dr. Black is a driven man, driven to help others. He performs over 250 brain surgeries a year, most neurosurgeons do about 15. But he believes his patients are the heros, not him. He says, "You realize how precious and what a gift life is and if you want to realize how to learn, and learn how to live life to its fullest, talk to one of these patients."

There's no set timetable on when doctor black's vaccine study will end. By the way, if he looks familiar, maybe it's because you saw him on the cover of a special "Time" magazine back in 1997. The edition was devoted to the heroes of medicine.

You can also contact Dr. Black at (310) 423-7900.

[Back To DAILY NEWS Main]

Customized Cancer Treatments

Treating Brain Cancer

The Microlift

Clearly Straightening Your Teeth

Herbal Cures

You can also contact Dr.
Black at (310) 423-7900.


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