When two cousins each learned that a lethal skin cancer called melanoma was spreading rapidly through his body, the young men found themselves with the shared chance of benefiting from a recent medical breakthrough.
The trial of a melanoma drug offers a glimpse at a new kind of therapy tailored to the genetic profile of a cancer.
At what may be a watershed moment in understanding genetic changes that cause cancer, a small band of doctors is doggedly testing a drug known as PLX4032.
Even if some combination of targeted drugs could put melanoma into a long hibernation — and that was still not clear, he knew — it might take a cocktail of five or more such drugs to treat any given case. And it can take 10 years for even one drug to reach the market.
A few months later, Buddy traded $800 and bartered time and equipment for a 51-foot boat that needed, among other things, a new layer of fiberglass. When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded 41 miles offshore last April, they were almost done with the seemingly endless repairs. Their goal had been to finish before the young brown shrimp, at their sweetest and most succulent, began to move in May from the marshes to spawn in the salty gulf. And when the oil company’s efforts to cap its leaking well fell short, Aaron recorded it on his Facebook wall. “BP fails.... AGAIN!!!” he posted on May 29. Then, on June 15: “Sleepless night, lots of thinkin goin on.”