A Ridgewood coupled paid $25,000 to have a Hackensack laboratory inject pieces of their son's tumors into mice to test various cocktails, according to a Sunday article appearing in The Record. Thanks to the experimental treatment, Michael Feeney, 9, appears to be recovering from a rare bone cancer, Ewing's sarcoma.
“It’s difficult to speculate on how complete and long the recovery will be,” said Dr. Leonard Wexler, Michael Feeney's pediatric oncologist. “But he’s been on this for over three months and the response has been excellent. Everything has gotten smaller and large amounts of the tumors are dead and dying.”
Two chemotherapy drugs attack the cancer cells while Avastin blocks the tumors from forming blood vessels, Dr. Wexler stated. The Feeney family paid for the cocktail knowing the chances of success were slim, according to the report.
“I’ve been saying we’re the luckiest unlucky people I know and I’m just so grateful that it worked,” said Jill Feeney, Michael's mother.
More and more private laboratories are turning to mice to be the guinea pigs for experimental cancer treatments.
Champions Laboratory, with an office in Hackensack, currently has a 13 percent success rate, according to the report. It believes the response rate in human patients will nearly triple by the end of the year.