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Satinka’s Journey with Giant Cell Tumor of the Spine

Satinka Stiles is a 37 year old mother of 4 young girls. She was diagnosed with a very rare bone cancer in November 2008. The cancer is a giant cell tumor located in the spine near her tailbone.

Satinka, diagnosed with giant cell tumor of the spine.

There are less than 10 people in the U.S. known with her particular cancer, so her only chance for survival at this point is to receive treatment in California through a clinical trial.

Doctors in Austin, Texas did not want to operate on this tumor 
due to the very high risks so they sent Ms. Stiles to Houston, Texas to a well known cancer hospital called M.D. Anderson. There they did a series of embolizations which were supposed to stop the blood flow to the tumor and “starve” it to keep it from growing. Instead it made the tumor more aggressive and it started to grow rapidly.

In August 2009 the Oncology team at M.D. Anderson scheduled Ms. Stiles to have an extraction of the tumor. She spent 3 months in the hospital which left her unable to walk or even get out of bed. Upon returning to her home in Austin, Ms. Stiles’ Oncologist saw that the tumor had already grown back and decided to start radiation therapy. The tumor had shrunk 25% but a few months later it began to grow again.

In December 2009 the Oncology team at Texas Oncology read about a clinical trial for giant cell tumors in Santa Monica, CA and felt strongly that she should go as there was nothing more to be offered through conventional treatment. Ms. Stiles knew that this was her only other treatment option but could not afford the frequent travel, or to relocate to, California. Her social worker at Texas Oncology told her about Lazarex and in July 2011, before she knew it, she was on the first flight to California to participate in the Denosumab clinical trial.

Now, in 2012, Ms. Stiles is walking again, the tumor has shrunk significantly and she is looking forward to the future with her children!!

Patients like this month’s VIP, Satinka, are benefiting from support like this every day. Please help us by sending this email to friends who you think would be interested in Lazarex.