Donor Giving Supports Cutting-Edge Immune Tests

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Kathryn knows how to follow her gut. When it led her to Roswell Park, it may have saved her life.

She didn’t start out there. In 2015 Kathryn was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She did her research and selected an oncologic surgeon with a strong background. Under their care, she had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But the cancer kept coming back.

“Each time that they said I was good and I was supposed to wait to have a CT, I just got a dark feeling and asked for the CT sooner. That’s how they caught the cancer each time.”

Just before the second surgery her doctor then scheduled, she received some pre-surgery information in the mail that showed a gruesome illustration of the potential aftermath of the procedure.

“I thought, This is not how I want to end my life. I think I should do more looking and fighting.”

That’s when she called Roswell Park. She immediately saw Emese Zsiros, MD, in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology. “She had a great bedside manner. She was really truthful about the options I had and what I should be willing to do. I walked out of there with a new spirit.”

Dr. Zsiros began Kathryn’s Roswell Park treatment with hormone therapy. When the cancer was still spotted on the next CT scan, she recommended some specialized testing including OmniSeq Immune Report Card®.

OmniSeq Immune Report Card develops a profile of the patient’s immune system to determine which immunotherapies and clinical trials are likely to help it do its best fighting.

Immune Report Card indicated that she would have a favorable response to a specific immunotherapy drug. She started getting it every three weeks.

Kathryn has had a complete response to the drug that was recommended as a result of the OmniSeq test, which means she’s currently cancer-free and no longer receiving the immunotherapy. She knows she might have to go on it again if any cancer comes back. But for now, she’s thankful for the test and the positive impact it and Roswell Park have made on her cancer journey.

Thanks to donor giving, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is now paying for OmniSeq Immune Report Card testing for Roswell Park patients, with the hope that establishing a base of successful data will lead insurance companies to cover it, giving many more patients access to this important test.

“I’m not sorry about a whole lot of things, but I’m only sorry I didn’t go to Roswell first thing,” Kathryn says now. “I look forward to being healthy enough to witness another granddaughter’s marriage, and I still haven’t seen one of my grandbabies, so I’m looking forward to the summer, when they’ll be coming to visit.”