The conversation started as so many do. “Hey, I hear you had IBC?” and then a request to meet in person. Ellen was like so many others, but the first time we met in person, we talked and laughed about theater and so many things we have in common; we almost didn’t even talk about IBC. A bond was established and her desire to help research matched – if not surpassed – mine.
Some of her story, (although there is so much more to her than cancer, as there is for all of us!) Ellen was diagnosed with stage 4 triple negative IBC in May 2018. Treatment is continued to this day. After completing the standard of care trimodal treatment, she has enrolled in not one but 2 clinical trials. Her current trial is a new oral targeted therapy that targets immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and combines this with a standard of care chemotherapy. The trial is a phase 1b/2 study, and Ellen is the first participant in the IBC group. Only a small number of patients were in the first dose-finding stage of the study to find the maximum safe dose of the drug. Patients like Ellen who altruistically agree to participate in early phase studies play valuable roles in moving forward research. Patients who step up and join clinical trials are not only trying to help themselves but help support science and research in a real way that matters for generations to come. We thank her on behalf of many others, who we hope, will benefit from this research.
Please help us fund more research so that more novel trials can be developed based on laboratory research.