A clinical trial saved my life. It could save yours, too.

August 6, 2017


USA Today

Publication Date

August 6, 2017


Stan Collender


Arizona Senator John McCain’s battle with a rare brain cancer has people thinking the worst. I know from very personal experience that the worst isn’t always what’s going to happen.

Two years ago I was about to start a clinical trial to deal with a very rare cancer — Merkel cell carcinoma — because there was no approved treatment for my disease. That decision to be treated with a very promising but-not-yet-approved drug saved my life.

I’m not exaggerating. Two years ago, I had just been diagnosed with my fifth recurrence in 18 months, including it twice spreading to my brain, and I was getting my affairs in order. Today, the trial is over, I’m cancer-free and I’m making big plans for the future.

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