"I really feel good," she said. "I haven't felt this good in a couple of years,''
Lyles said her longtime patient's recent lab results, such as hemoglobin level, are "totally normal'' for an adult woman.
"I think Perry Shen's idea that this was a lady whose body could respond to this treatment was right on,'' Lyles said.
Shen said patients such as Thorn make his job worthwhile because they point to the value of attacking difficult cases with a multidisciplinary team.
"That really allows us to give these patients the most appropriate treatment plan up front,'' he said. "I like trying to determine the best combination of therapeutic interventions and then personalize it for that specific patient. It is quite gratifying when a patient undergoes successful intervention.''
When asked about the difficulties of his specialty field, dealing with devastating illnesses such as pancreatic cancer, his answer brings to mind a Tom Hanks line from the baseball movie "A League of Their Own."
"I enjoy the challenge,'' Shen said. "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.''
Thorn, meanwhile, said she can't wait to get back to doing things that she couldn't for most of 2012, including planting flowers, painting and spending time with her mother as well as her son and daughter-in-law.
Being a recipient of the latest treatments has helped shape her own decisions.
"I am an organ donor,'' Thorn said. "I believe anything that can help our future, we need to do it.''
Cancer survival ratesHere are the five-year overall survival rates of the three most common cancers in this county and pancreatic cancer:Type of cancer New annual cases in U.S.
5-year survival rateProstate
|SOURCE Wake Forest Baptist HealthWire|
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