Advancements in pancreatic cancer treatments changing course of disease

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – When Camille Moses was first diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in 2012 she was up against incredible odds, but they were no match for her fighting spirit.

"I've been given a miracle because I haven't had to have treatment in over five years, which is really unheard of after having stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Moses said.

An initial scan, done when she was diagnosed, showed the cancer had traveled beyond her pancreas, invading her liver and her lungs.

"At first, I was told to go home and die by one hospital," Moses said. "Then, Sylvester was my second opinion. Right away, they said, 'We're going to treat you and try to give you quality of life.'" 

Dr. Peter Hosein, with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, said much has changed in the past decade.

"Ten years ago, we had one drug. Now, we have multiple treatment options -- not just approved treatment options but a lot of clinical trials going on," Hosein said.

Hosein said genetic testing is providing a major leap forward, allowing for tailored treatment therapies and revealing who's at higher risk.

"We actually have a clinic here that's dedicated to high-risk patients, where we can screen them, and that can make a big difference for those patients," he said.

In Moses' case, standard chemotherapy surprisingly cleared her body of the cancer.

"Every time I went there, every three months, the cancer was getting smaller and smaller. They said, 'There's just a tiny spot left in your liver and it's too small to know what it is, so we're just going to watch it,'" Moses said.

Now, her mission in life is to help educate the public and patients about pancreatic cancer.

She hopes sharing her story will provide hope to others facing the disease.

On Sunday, the Pancreatic Cancer Network is holding a special ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel on Miami Beach for people affected by pancreatic cancer.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and proceeds will support pancreatic cancer research.

Click here to register for the free event or call 305-431-6413.

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