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First patient in US to receive cancer drug after federal approval

Despite a five-week hospital stay after surgery and multiple failed rounds of chemotherapy, 74-year-old Las Vegas resident J Carole Kuntz is still smiling.

Medical oncologist Nicholas J. Vogelzang, who is treating Kuntz, said the drug works by preventing the cancer from signaling to the immune system to “put the brakes on” itself, he said.

At the center’s central valley location Friday, Kuntz grinned often as she became the first cancer patient in the country to receive the drug Tecentriq since its U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval last week. Read the full article


Mesothelioma Symptoms and Risk Factors

Dr. Vogelzang, is a medical oncologist with 30 years of experience treating mesothelioma patients. He discusses the symptoms that patients often experience prior to seeking medical attention, as well as the backgrounds of the 1000 patients he has treated and risk factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing the disease.


Participating in a Clinical Trial

Dr. Vogelzang talks about other drugs that are available to mesothelioma patients as well as drugs that they are using in clinical trials. He talks about what a patient who participates in a clinical trial can expect. He also talks about the importance of continuing to develop drugs for the treatment of mesothelioma and the importance of getting to a medical oncologist who understands and has treated mesothelioma upon diagnosis.


Chemotherapy, Alternative Treatments & Surgery

Dr. Vogelzang discusses chemotherapy versus surgery, or a combination of both as treatment options for mesothelioma patients. He talks about why not every patient is a candidate for surgery and why those who are younger and healthier usually consider this is a first option. He also discusses how chemotherapy is used to treat patients in addition to surgery, or treat patients for whom surgery is not an option.


Current Mesothelioma Treatment

Dr. Vogelzang discusses different treatment options that are currently available to mesothelioma patients. He talks about the two medications that are widely used to treat mesothelioma, Alimta and Platinum, and side effects that patients taking this medication often experience. He also discusses chemotherapy and surgery as potential treatment options and some of the factors that would determine if a patient might be a candidate for these types of treatment.


Origins of Mesothelioma Treatment

Dr. Vogelzang talks about his beginnings treating mesothelioma patients. He talks about their backgrounds and the need for clinical trials and new drugs to treat patients. He discusses different treatments and trials conducted internationally and how a standard for treating mesothelioma patients was developed through this research.