Trial drug gives Wedgeport man his legs and his life

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 1:18pm

In 2013, Raymond Boudreau of Wedgeport, N.S., was a very sick man. Two years had passed since he’d been diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer and he was not doing well. He couldn’t eat and suffered terribly from gastro- intestinal side effects of chemotherapy.

“I was skin and bones and I couldn’t walk,” he recalls “The cancer was in my hip and my left leg was partially paralyzed.” But just when he thought the end of his life might be near, his oncologist, Dr. Lori Wood, contacted him about a new clinical trial of a medication called nivolumab.

“Within a month, I was a new man,” says Raymond of his remarkable response to the targeted therapy. “The chemo side effects went away, my energy and appetite came back

and, after a while, my hip and leg recovered and I could walk normally again.”

Raymond will stay on the study drug as long as his cancer is not progressing. He has regular CT scans to measure the lesions throughout his body, which have shrunk to 10 per cent of their former size and, so far, show no signs of rebounding. Raymond is living life to the fullest with his wife, children and grandchildren.

“The only way Mr. Boudreau could have accessed this medication was through this clinical trial,” says Lorrie Yunace, RN, team lead for ACCRU. “I see him once a month when he comes in for treatment and it’s just amazing to see how well he is doing two years in—so far, so good, his disease is not progressing.”