For Mike Harris, life is good.
“I’m alive today because of a clinical trial,” he says of a Phase I study he entered at MD Anderson four years ago for his myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer that had no standard treatment at the time.
Last year, he and wife Sandy celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. They live in Kingwood, north of Houston, near their son’s family, and enjoy strong connections to their two grandchildren.
First sign of hope
The drug Harris received on that earliest-stage study — and has taken ever since — went on to become in November 2011 the first drug ever approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat myelofibrosis.
Srdan Verstovsek, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Leukemia, led that Phase I study and was principal investigator on every U.S. clinical trial for ruxolitinib, developed by Incyte Corporation. It is known commercially as Jakafi™.
Continue reading Patient enjoys life, thanks to right drug for his rare cancer