HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital works directly with HSHS St. Vincent Cancer Research Institute to enroll pediatric cancer patients in clinical trials that may not only improve their individual outcomes, but also pave the way for future cancer treatment and prevention methods.
Approximately 80 percent of the patient population at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital participates in clinical trials, including 13-year-old Natalie Giesau of Pulaski. When she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) T-Cell in 2016, she enrolled in a clinical trial to test a new cancer drug. She received the trial drug in addition to the normal course of treatment for her type of cancer.
“We all felt it would bring us some added security in helping Natalie fight her disease,” said Natalie’s mom, Kathy.
With the help of the pediatric hematology-oncology team at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital, Natalie beat cancer and achieved remission. While it is not yet known if the addition of the trial drug helped Natalie in her cancer fight, her participation in the trial could provide researchers vital information to help them determine if the drug should become part of routine treatment for certain types of cancer. In short, Natalie’s participation in the clinical trial could help save lives of cancer patients in the future.
“It’s incredible to see how far we have come in the fight against cancer – and the ability that is now there to cure people,” said Kathy.