December 9/10, 2000
More than a million Americans are diagnosed with cancer
ever year, each case slightly different from the other.
That's why one doctor says he's customizing treatments
for his patients, and they say the results are amazing.
EXTRA has the story.
Welcome to the microscopic world of Doctor Robert Nagourney,
a California Oncologist many call a miracle worker.
Tell that to his face and Nagourney simply smiles.
"I think the laboratory can work miracles. I'm just
applying laboratory techniques," he replies.
But without Nagourney's perseverance in the lab, hundreds
of cancer victims would be dead. His secret weapon?
The test tube. Traditionally, cancer patients are given
a standard treatment for their type of cancer. Nagourney
says the problem is that they don't always respond.
He believes each person's cancer is unique like a fingerprint.
So using samples from the patient, he tries different
treatments on the cancer cells, not the person. He doesn't
treat the patient until he finds the therapy that definitely
"For many years we were a voice in the woods and nobody
would listen all because they were so sure it didn't
work," Nagourney remembers.
Well, doctor, they're starting to listen now. Here's
why. Nagourney, using his laboratory test tubes has
discovered a new drug combination that shows amazing
results in breast cancer patients.
"Half of them, many of whom were deemed untreatable,
went into very good remissions and have done very well
on the treatment," he explains.
Helene Robinson was one of those patients. She was
diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. "They tried different
forms of chemotherapy on me. Nothing worked. The doctors
had basically given up on me," she recalls.
Helene was on her deathbed when she contacted doctor
Nagourney. The first thing the doctor ordered was a
biopsy of Helene's cancerous tissue. Then his staff
of researchers concocted combinations of different drugs
to find out what killed those specific cells. In Helene's
case, what worked were two drugs traditionally used
to treat pancreatic and lung cancers.
"Her doctor was good enough to try it and that took
some guts," says Nagourney. And it's working where all
else has failed. Helene is still getting chemotherapy
but now dares to look towards a bright future with her
daughter. She's outraged that she had to go through
so much pain before finding doctor Nagourney.
"I feel that part of the reason I am still around is
to let people know this option is out there. I think
it's horrible that doctors don't tell patients about
this, " Helene states.
That's why Rebecca Burns wants to spread the word.
Thanks to Nagourney's treatment, she's been cancer-free
for 3-years. "I think he treats the patient. You are
an individual. You're as unique as what's happening
inside you, that's how he treats you," she says. And
Nagourney can't imagine doing it any other way.
If you would like more information on Dr. Nagourney's
treatment check out www.rationaltherapeutics.com
or call (562) 989-6455.