A Life-Saving Attitude

In 1987, a doctor informed second-grade teacher Laurie Waldo that she had bone cancer. In 2006, she was told she had a malignant tumor in her right breast. In 2019, Waldo learned she had a chest wall recurrence of breast cancer following her mastectomy. That same year, she was told she now had cancer in her left breast.

Four battles fought. Four battles won. An immeasurable journey.

Her first surgeon, Dempsey Springfield, M.D., a former orthopaedic surgeon with the UF College of Medicine, wondered how she could persevere through the procedures and push through her darkest days, but it was their “teamwork” that made the difference.

When Waldo was first told she had bone cancer in her right arm, Springfield revealed that her chances were 50/50. When she asked what she needed to do to be on the right side of the odds, he said it was going to be her attitude.

“I cried with my family that night and woke up the next morning and decided, I’m a fighter,” Waldo said. “I’m a competitor. We’re going to beat this thing. And I realized telling me to keep a positive attitude was probably the most awesome thing that a doctor could ever say to a patient. READ MORE

New Clinical Trials Open for Enrollment

Only Available at UF Health Cancer Center

The UF Health Cancer Center has four new open clinical trials that are only available through our center. Study-specific information is below; please send any trial inquiries to the Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office:

A Phase II Randomized Therapeutic Optimization Trial for Subjects with Refractory Metastatic Colorectal Cancer using ctDNA (RAPID – Trial 1)

About: This randomized Phase II study will investigate the use of the Signatera ctDNA assay versus the standard scan-based approach to guide treatment in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The aim of this study is to measure and compare the overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and best overall response (OR) of patients whose treatment has been guided by one of these two approaches.

Age Range: Adults, 18+ | PI: Sherise Rogers, M.D.

Tazemetostat in Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors

About: This Phase II, open label, single arm study will investigate the use of continuously administered oral tazemetostat in patients with recurrent refractory and/or metastatic malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.

Age Range: Children and adults, 12+ | PI: Joanne Lagmay, M.D.

Accelerated Dose Schedule of Cytarabine Consolidation Therapy for Older Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Complete Remission

About: This Phase II, open label, non-randomized study will evaluate the safety and tolerance of administering high dose cytarabine (HiDAC) consolidation therapy on days 1-3 of each cycle, as compared to standard administration on days 1, 3, and 5 of each cycle, in patients 61 years and older with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Age Range: Adults, 61+ | PI: Jack Hsu, M.D.

Atezolizumab Plus Tivozanib in Immunologically Cold Tumor Types

About: Despite its demonstrated potential, immunotherapy is not currently thought to be an effective intervention in the treatment of several immunologically “cold” tumors such as prostate cancer, biliary tract cancers, soft tissue sarcomas, well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors, microsatellite stable colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and non-triple negative breast cancer. This study aims to evaluate the combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab and the VEGF-TKI tivozanib in a variety of tumors which have a low response rate to checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone.

Age Range: Adults, 18+ | PI(s): Jonathan Chatzkel, M.D. Brian Ramnaraign, M.D.