In July 2017, Eddie Nurquez was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and incurable cancer. Conventional treatment offered little promise for Eddie, whose lymphoma was already at an advanced stage. Fortunately, he learned about the DCC-funded research of Sylvester oncologist, Izidore Lossos, M.D., and was able to participate in a groundbreaking clinical trial.
With his wife, Jessica, by his side during the aggressive, inpatient treatment, Eddie was in remission by just the second of four cycles of therapy. When Eddie’s friend Mike Essington, a DCC heavy hitter, found out that his friend was in the battle of his life, he dedicated his DCC VIII ride in his honor.
Izidore Lossos, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Endowed Director, Lymphoma Program
Head, Hematological Malignancies Site Disease Group
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
With direct funding from the DCC, Dr. Lossos’ laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of different subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and novel therapeutic approaches. These subtypes include mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive disease that accounts for six to eight percent of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and has a median survival of four to six years.
The clinical trial that Eddie took part in uses a regimen combining several medications at once and alternating them to prevent resistance. Dr. Lossos’ team initiated the first of these trials at Sylvester 15 years ago and continues its efforts to improve results — decreasing the toxicity of the regimen, which has prolonged many lives.
Patients receiving this form of treatment do not need stem cell transplants, which are typically done early in conventional therapy. Like Eddie, most patients achieve remission after only two cycles of therapy. More than 90 percent of patients in these trials achieve complete remission, with a median duration of progression-free survival reaching eight years—and many patients in remission for up to 15 years.Share this story