Green Bay (WFRV) Before a medication hits the market or a standard of therapy is used by doctors it will go through a clinical trial. The research relies on volunteers to test the latest medical therapies and medications. These trials are important for researchers who are trying to save lives.
Aurora baycare medical center is currently involved in about 35 clinical cancer trials. One called SOFT- just finished up and is being called a game changer for younger women fighting breast cancer.
Pastor Joy Mortensen-Wiebe relishes life, “I think i have a greater sense of gratitude, I think I appreciate the smaller things in life,” said Joy Mortensen-Wiebe, breast cancer survivor.
That appreciation comes from the biggest fight of her life, “I was diagnosed with stage two-a breast cancer,” said Joy.
During her treatment pastor joy new she wanted to be part of a clinical trial- for her two daughters’ future, “If I could be a part of changing the standard of care that there are better outcomes for younger women thinking in particular of my own daughters, then I wanted to be a part of that,” explained Joy.
Joy turned to the Aurora Cancer Care Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at Aurora BayCare Medical Center where she entered the soft trial, “It was looking at in premenopausal women with high risk breast cancer, so high risk for it to recur, it was looking at modifying the traditionally given hormonal therapy after surgery to see if we could improve outcomes,” explained, Dr. Nancy Davis, oncologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
The results of the trial showed the risk of relapse was reduced by 20 to 35 percent, “This was a very exciting trial when it was published because it really changed therapy and practice for these women premenopausal women,” explained Dr. Davis.
Pastor Joy is glad she participated in the trial, “I’m really proud because it is changing the future of cancer care breast cancer treatment for young women,” said Joy.
Doctor Davis says its trials like SOFT that will help patients- now and in the future, “Trials in cancer patients are the way we find out what the best therapy to offer our patients are, so every drug we have went through clinical trials,” explained Dr. Davis.
Some of the funding for clinical trials like SOFT come from fundraisers- like the Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer, “We can’t do clinical research if we don’t have the funds to pay for the testing thats involved,” said Dr. Davis.
Pastor Joy is now 10 years cancer free- and plans on taking part in the walk, “I think this walk for me is to celebrate the staff here at the Vince Lombardi BayCare for all their faithful care of not only me but of so many patients. We have a lot of work to do to keep on this journey of finding a cure for cancer,” said Joy.
The Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer is Saturday, June 18th at Aurora BayCare Medical Center. The 5k walk begins at 8a.m. It is free to walk but participants are encouraged to raise funds for the cause.