(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Each month on Eyewitness News we share stories of survival and hope from right here in our area.   In this month’s Buddy Check.  Eyewitness News Morning Anchor Kelly Byrne introduces us to one man who says a clinical trial saved his life.

As a professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Patrick Coughlin teaches future doctors about the human body and how to best treat a patient.

A few years ago, he found himself learning from doctors about a devastating diagnosis.

“He took me down to an examining room and agreed that something was there that wasn’t supposed to be there.”

After noticing a large lump in this abdomen and undergoing scans and a biopsy.. Patrick was diagnosed with Diffused large b-cell Lymphoma.
Within one week — he started chemotherapy.
“We were actually able to reduce the size of the tumor but not eradicate it.” he told Eyewitness News.

He underwent additional rounds of chemotherapy — lasting months.
Then.. a stem cell transplant.
“There was regrowth of the tumor so we had to take a different approach each time.” Said Patrick

Two years have passed since his original diagnosis.
Two years of frustration .. because none of the treatments were working.
That’s when he was admitted into a clinical trial for targeted immunotherapy.


“They took some blood from me, and they took it to the lab and put it in a culture dish and separated some of the cells they wanted. And then they introduced essentially a piece of foreign DNA.”

A few months later. a scan showed the tumor was gone.
Finally.. a complete response.

Now two years later, what was a clinical trial is FDA approved known as “Cart 19 Targeted Immunotherapy.”

 
“Because I was able to go through the clinical trial, obviously it has been successful for me and for patients. But also what it means is that nobody else has to go through what I did.” Said, Patrick.

And this is your monthly reminder to contact your buddy and remind them to do self-breast exam it is a call that can save a life,