As a kid growing up in Pennsylvania, Gabriel followed the boxing career of American boxer, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. The tragic fight Gabriel relates is the fourteen-round fight in which 21-year old Mancini went glove to glove with 27-year-old South Korean boxer, Duk Koo Kim. As Gabriel tells the story, he talks of Mancini and Kim, in their 14 round fight, and likens it to his 14-year battle with cancer. “I didn’t know if cancer was going to beat me, or if I was going to beat cancer,” Gabriel recounts.
Gabriel underwent years of treatments - fourteen years. He explains, “I have been treated with every modality imaginable. I have had multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and even treated with BCG, which is an inactive form of tuberculosis.” Gabriel adds, “The roughest would have to be the surgery, but being treated with the BCG made me violently sick. It was the toughest thing I could’ve imagined.”
After being treated at top-notch, even world-class institutions, often having the chairman of the department as his attending physician, the prognosis for the particular type of cancer he had was so bad his doctors at the Cleveland Clinic feared there wasn’t much more they could do. It was at this point that he was introduced to Intermountain Healthcare Oncologist, Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, at the Southwest Cancer Clinic in St. George, Utah.
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Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, is the Executive Director of Intermountain Precision Genomics with expertise in genomic research and development of the ICG100 ™ Comprehensive Gene Panel. Nadauld ordered next-generation sequencing of Gabriel’s tumor tissue. The test identified mutations that helped clarify what direction to go with regard to a different combination of treatments. As Gabriel reports, at this point, the treatment “worked like a silver bullet.”
While genomic testing is not 100% for every patient, for some patients like Larry Gabriel, precision medicine has helped him remain cancer free.