WEEI>On Demand>>D&C: Michael Thompson and Dr. David Reardon

D&C: Michael Thompson and Dr. David Reardon

Aug 27, 2013|

Michael was a practicing plastic surgeon before his diagnosis with one of the most common and aggressive brain tumors, glioblastoma multiforme. He is currently participating in a clinical trial and in his spare time he coaches youth hockey and belongs to a sailing club in Charlestown. Dr. Reardon is a researcher with special interests in neuro-oncology and is developing “tumor-targeting” therapies. Dr. Reardon also encourages donations because funding is at an all-time low.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

-- -- -- of the nice part about doing this every year is too much -- as welcoming old friends back we've seen year in year out. Also welcoming new friends of the broadcasts like and that's the case right now like the sale of the war our new friend from Attleboro Massachusetts Michael Thompson nice to see you Michael. The -- for him and doctor David Reardon political director for the center for neuro oncology at the Dana Farber you were diagnosed with 45 years of age Michael. With G. BM I'm not even going to attempted to put GBM is police. Cleo blast Almonte multi forming a -- that would is that it's the brain cancer okay. How did you know there was problems. And a headache. For about two weeks it just didn't go away from him. And then one day you know that I was practicing physician hand wanted to work she started getting fatigued. He and -- So headache fatigue and nausea when the presenting -- -- you go right into the Jimmy Fund if you go somewhere else first off I actually. Went I didn't have a document and you have a very good primary care doctor -- -- -- OK so I called her. And she said -- with his command christianity's -- nothing yet and it was the Friday before Memorial Day 2007. And the scans showed. Clue less -- Well you've been fighting this fight since 2007. Yes they have good for you I don't think you think you know let's say I have a good thing that is true that. What stage you win like -- step in the process. Well. I went to surgery right radiation. And the standard chemotherapy. But thankfully. Dana Farber is here and -- on an experimental chemotherapy now. And that's where I'm at right now doctor Riordan tell me about this particular form of brain cancer. Source who will bless Stillman is the most common type of cancer that arises in the brain and adults. There about 111000 cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It's also one of the most difficult cancers that. Retreat across the board all types of cancers and we'll blessed on this one of the most challenging a number of reasons he's contributed to that one of which is the fact that it arises in the brain. It's very difficult to get effective. Concentrations of drugs and treatments into the brain to effectively. Kill off the cancer cells. This type in particular. That Michael has. Is one that we struggled with for many many years. And now I think they're finally beginning to make some progress historically the average survival for patients with this diagnosis has been a little over a year. We have a small but growing percentage of patients like Michael. Who were now out. Six years and or longer Michelson Michael's case six years or longer which is remarkable and is that a result of research and advances made. Or she just. -- stronger. Luckier than others I think Michael deserves a lot of credit for his fortitude and all he's done to -- to fight this is positive attitude. He. Steals with his treatment and and everything he's had to go through. I've not heard Michael complain or have any any. Discouraging comments it anywhere along the along the road here. But I think a lot of it also has to do with the hard work and research that many many. Investigators including many at the Dana Farber and our collaborators that Harvard Medical School. The Broad Institute have done to give us better insight into why these tumors occur and what makes them tick. You straddle the fence between being a clinician and researcher and treating patients as well. Is that correct that's correct and why not do one vs the other do they complement one another. We have we have dedicated people who do. -- specifically laboratory work and dedicated people who focus exclusively on the Clemens and both are equally valuable but in between we also need. People to help bridge the gap. So that we can take effective. Strategies that are developed in the laboratory and bring them into the clinic for patients like the treatment that -- on this has been now working dramatically well for him. And there are a number of promising new things coming along that we're working hard to get into the clinic to help patients. Let's just feel like the solutions early approach to clinical trial. Implies you know the last stop on the train but it doesn't feel that way to use this. No not at all you seem rather optimistic. Well ahead of the Dana Farber here and that's you know that's a good reasonably optimistic -- violence that you walked in here that the drugs are -- -- I thought as a doctor do you did you build more than the average patient. -- that good or bad it via wealth. At the start it might not have been a good thing but you know. It turns out that it was it was good you know because I knew what to expect. I knew of some of the things that we're gonna happen but you know weight loss and paralyzed and all that and I think that that happened to me. Aside and other people you know when I was going through medical school and training and what is your what is your schedule now what is your treatment like now you when you've been from out of or into the Jimmy Fund clinic and wait a weekly basis -- daily basis to only about your -- yeah. Who in monthly. Com. The chemotherapy the experimental chemotherapy. Is an oil that's it's a pill that he once -- -- OK so every morning -- tickets well. And that and you feel like it's helping you feel like. There's something to this clinical trial this experimental treatment. Yeah well you know when I was diagnosed that. There's a 5% chance of -- -- it via a 5% chance of survival three years so. Thanks to Dana Farber and that the viewers on us and watching you schools sailing there watching you live your. You know united cheated conduct and knowledge in arming thinks that dean of Harvard. These guys have a father you know the -- and they don't know they have a far. So. Which one of these kids. On the Mike -- of Baghdad. That's Mary Mary's -- well Christians and as. Mary as Matt just is that just the real tough here you know. I explain this explained to others still sailing in and coach and in this. -- It's pretty law aimed. I reject an effort to not really -- an eye on it and I was pretty cool and he just arrived at. And is it made him and me he looks pretty happy to maybe look at them. They met for you hockey player. Deck coaches you. Into the might. -- this year coach. Yes sometimes you tough coach -- an -- coach. He's a good -- I'm guessing he's an easy coach Allison make you cut your head. That's what I do -- coach. Michael Thompson and Mary Thompson and met in doctorate and thank you very much for taking some time I'd like to give you the opportunity to do to look Leo there because you know as I said you straddle the fence between doing the research we -- -- quite expensive that is. But there's a direct correlation. Between money raised research done and lives today. Tell people what -- regional office. Well it at this point. This effort is is more critical than ever. Research dollars have hit an all time low. There's many. Very exciting promising projects and that are coming along that are having to falter or not move forward because there's simply not enough funds to support them. There's lots of good ideas there's lots of good projects coming along I think we can help many many more people and get. More patience. With this disease this. Previously incurable disease like Michael like doctor Thompson. Surviving and living a longer. But we can't do it without support thanks so much of the Red Sox WE LI MS and and most importantly all the viewers out there because so we we couldn't do this work without their critical critical help at this point in time so thank you so much. And a brisk 87773812348777381234134000. 541. Dollars just because our phone calls are local -- a schedule doesn't mean you should slow down pick up the phone and call us we are. Watching and listening to the WEEI -- and Jimmy Fund radio telethon live from Fenway --

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