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Cancer Survivor Spreads Word About Treatment That Stopped Disease

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It's been a long three years of doctor visits, surgeries, and multiple rounds of chemotherapy for 63-year-old Peter Romero.

"After a month I was clean, came back after three months, that was right before Christmas, and spots showed back up on the liver," said Romero.

What started as colon cancer in 2018 eventually lead to spots on his liver. But Romero says he found a therapy that worked and he's determined to let other cancer patients know about it. In July 2020, Romero was one of the first patients in the region to undergo targeted cancer therapy directed at the liver through a pump implanted under the skin. Now, just in time for the holidays, he's cancer-free.

"It's a concentrated way of giving chemotherapy to the liver and avoiding the side effects of getting it through the vein," said Dr. Sepideh Gholami.

Dr. Gholami at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the few oncology surgeons performing hepatic artery infusions in the country. Romero is now one of her success stories.

"My wife and I kind of have a different spot in our heart for her," said Romero.

The two met up on Zoom with CBS13 for a special reunion and a chance to spread the word about the targeted cancer therapy.

"It's just important to me to get the word out and I honestly don't think there are enough providers that are aware of it," said Dr. Gholami.

While it's a time in his life he'd rather move past, Romero says it's a treatment that needs to be told.

"I need to share the story, I need to suck it up. I need to just let people know that this is out there," said Romero.

Romero will have his next scans in February to make sure the cancer is still gone. Dr. Gholami has implanted several more patients with the pumps this year and is hopeful they'll be just as successful.

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