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Baltimore Cancer Patients Experiment With Cutting Edge Treatment

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- Some Baltimore area cancer patients are on the leading edge of treatment.

As Mike Schuh reports if the experiment is successful, millions may later follow in their foot steps.

Thanks to modern medicine, Sheila Crew's piano still heard in her home. She's a cancer survivor.

At 78, she's always on the go, her fridge covered with memories of an active life.

A decade after her son died of cancer, she was diagnosed.

"I thought it was a mistake, and then when she helped me realize the seriousness of it, then I thought…do I really want any treatment?"

She traveled here, to the hospital where, for decades, she was a nurse--where her cancer doctor, Wendy Citron had a proposition.

The specifics of Sheila's breast cancer made her eligible for a study using accelerated treatments.

"The thing about the study that Mrs Crew participated in is that we really feel fortunate through our affiliation with the University of Maryland Grenebaum Cancer Center, we are able to offer these nationwide cutting edge studies right here where they grew up in Glen Burnie," said Dr. Wendy Citron.

The duration of her treatment was cut in half, from 6 to 3 weeks.

"As a nurse i was really happy to be in a study that ultimately could benefit a lot of people," said Crew.

Here the goal is to, "Hopefully make breast cancer treatment more efficient, more convenient, more cost effective," said Citron.

Sheila is a, grateful patient, musician, and retired nurse, as her accelerated treatment is working.

First results from that clinical trial won't be available until three years or so from now.

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