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New Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute offering personalized treatment

New Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute offering personalized treatment
New Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute offering personalized treatment 02:47

MIAMI - There's a new way to treat patients with brain cancer at UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

They recently announced the Brain Tumor Institute will personalize treatment.

CBS News Miami met a patient undergoing treatment during Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

"Obviously, it was shocking. It was a complete surprise because for my particular case. There was no major incident. That said, hey you have a brain tumor," said Mario Diaz, Jr., a patient at Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute. 

Five years ago, Diaz Jr. was diagnosed with a glioma brain tumor and like anyone else a million things ran through his mind. 

"Five years ago? So my son was 10. My daughter was in her early teens. and so how to break the news to them. And how much to tell them along the way. And I ease them into it," said Diaz Jr. 

The father says he accepted the fact he would have to go through brain surgery, the traditional treatment plan of radiation and chemo did not sit well with him. 

"I could not have gone through surgery, brain surgery and only to come out to get radiation to make it worse purposely in terms of quality of life. So I was determined there's got to be another way," said Diaz. 

A clinical trial drug that he would take once a day. 

The only one offering the alternative was Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

"There are ways of treating this that are alternative to deal with it," said Diaz Jr. 

Mario is one of many people receiving a personalized treatment plan by the experts here at the New Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute. 

"How we approach that is that we can analyze in real-time the tumor of those patients and understand the molecular makeup," said Macarena de la Fuente, M.D., Co-Director of Clinical Neurooncology, Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute. 

Mario's oncologist Dr. Macarena De la Fuente is part of the team at the new Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute. 

She says each person and their tumor is unique. 

"So we are studying those tumors in the deepest way that you can imagine to understand exactly what is going on with different areas of the tumors and be able to design and provide a treatment that is unique for that particular patient," said Dr. De La Fuente

It's the innovative way of thinking that has allowed Mario to travel the world with his family get engaged to be married and watch his kids grow up.

"I've been able to see graduate from middle school. I'm going to see my daughter next week graduate from high school and go to the University of Florida," said Diaz Jr. 

The new brain institute opened earlier this month. 

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