New pancreatic cancer treatment offering hope to patients, families

U.S. & World

(NBC) – Arman Farmanian was married to the love of this life, Mary Jane, for 58 years.

“She was just a wonderful girl, and we never argued in the whole time we were married,” Farmanian said.

The two met working at Lockheed Martin.

But five years ago, Mary Jane was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live.

“She took it like a champ,” Farmanian said. She was treated so well you can’t imagine.”

While there is no cure, Arman and Mary Jane discovered a new procedure developed by Renovo RX.

“Pancreatic cancer is not that common, it’s about 3 percent of all cancers,” said Dr. Reza Malek, interventional radiologist. “But it’s one of the deadliest.”

Dr. Reza Malek is on the team that developed a procedure that delivers chemotherapy just to a pancreatic tumor, instead of across the entire body.

“We’re testing injecting with a little bit of contrast dye that shows the blood vessel,” Malek said. “And here we see a little blood vessel that goes and steals the chemotherapy so here we’re moving the balloon back, inflating the balloons, and then the chemotherapy is between the two ports and kind of soaking the tumor.”

Doctor Malek says it’s shown success in early studies of about 50 patients. Mary Jane was their first.

“It kept her alive and happy,” Farmanian said. “Other than that she would have wasted away like cancer usually does.”

She was given three months to live, but survived three extra years.

Arman says the procedure was invaluable.

“To have her one more day,” Farmanian said. “It was worth it.”

The treatment is still considered experimental with clinical trials scheduled to continue through 2021.

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