Two years ago, Donna Sarvis could barely breathe. The 48-year old wife and mother had two tumors in her lungs that chemo could not diminish. But Donna was referred to the VCU Massey Cancer Center for advanced genomic sequencing, a new treatment that precisely maps her disease and matches that profile with available treatments.
Even though she had an extremely rare mutation, she was matched with a targeted drug that put her cancer in remission. Using the same tissue sample from which the original diagnosis was made, the Oncogenomics DX1 test can sequence that cancer’s DNA and match it with existing and experimental therapies that target the specific molecule or gene driving their disease.
In Donna’s case it shrunk the tumors where chemo could not, gave her almost immediate relief, and made it possible, when that medicine stopped working, to successfully use chemo to stabilize the tumors and give her a life.
Massey Cancer center is the first in Virginia to perform this kind of genome sequencing tests. Patients interested in talking with a physician about whether they might benefit can call 828.5116 for an appointment.
It does not require an additional biopsy.