Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—is the first hospital in the Kansas City region to offer lutetium Lu 177 dotatate (Lutathera®), a cutting-edge therapy for adults with advanced neuroendocrine tumors that affect the pancreas or gastrointestinal tract. Research Medical Center oncologists were able to bring this revolutionary new treatment to patients prior to approval, and outside of a clinical trial setting, by working with the FDA to grant expanded drug access for patients who could benefit.
Nicole Storey is a 41-year-old Olathe resident diagnosed with Stage IV neuroendocrine cancer in 2016. Not a candidate for surgery, Storey instead underwent radiation for five weeks on the primary tumor. Nearly a year after her radiation therapy, and while still receiving monthly injections, she began to experience digestive issues and pain due to tumor growth.
In April 2017, Storey sought the expertise of Jaswinder Singh, M.D., board certified in internal medicine and a specialist in hematology-oncology at Research Medical Center. Soon after, Dr. Singh shared some good news: Storey was first on the list in Kansas City to receive Lutathera, a new drug which, at the time, was undergoing FDA approval. Luathera wraps tumors with a low dose of radiation.
“Being the first hospital in the region to receive Lutathera in an Expanded Access Protocol provides hope to someone like Nicole,” says Dr. Singh. “We closely follow new therapy trials conducted around the globe, which can lead to patients like Nicole receiving breakthrough treatments, sometimes even before officially approved by the FDA. Offering cancer patients access to innovative treatments in their community hospital, where they can have their support system readily available, is invaluable.”
“When Dr. Singh told me that I was approved for an Expanded Access Protocol with Lutathera and explained the drug’s potential benefits, I felt enormous relief,” Storey says. “Although there’s not a cure for the type of cancer I have, with new drugs like Lutathera that show promise, I can buy time.”
The mother of three children, ranging from age 5 to 21, feels blessed that a drug she’s convinced will be effective in deterring tumor growth is available in her own backyard.
“I’m grateful I could remain in Kansas City and be surrounded by family and friends while undergoing this treatment,” says Storey, who received her final Lutathera treatment on July 11, 2018. “And that I have a passionate advocate like Dr. Singh is priceless.”
For more information on Research Medical Center and its acclaimed cancer care program and services, visit https://researchmedicalcenter.com.