Hudson girl cleared to begin experimental cancer treatment
McKenzie Lowe, 12, of Hudson, was all smiles during a recent Harlem Globetrotters game with her family. (COURTESY)
But before 12-year-old McKenzie Lowe can begin antineoplaston treatment (ANP), an alternative medicine piloted by controversial Texas doctor Stanislaw Burzynski, her family must find a local doctor who is willing to help.
This week, family friend Kim Frenette said finding a doctor willing to treat McKenzie with ANP is easier said than done.
To complicate matters further, a potential doctor would need to fill out a 200-page FDA application as part of the compassion exemption process.
The drugs are administered intravenously, with patients wearing a portable backpack.
For that reason, Frenette said, the family believes an ideal situation would be to work with a doctor who is not only experienced in pediatrics and oncology, but is also nearing retirement. They're hoping they'll be able to begin treatment while McKenzie is still relatively healthy and active.
"We're pushing forward and making some progress anyways," Frenette said. "Things are starting to happen."
Burzynski began treating certain brain tumors with ANP nearly four decades ago, though his most recent clinical trials were put on hold by the FDA last year after a six-year-old New Jersey patient died while being treated with the experimental drug.
"Even in our family there is discussion and disagreement with trying this," LaFountain said this week. "But what really matters is that McKenzie wants to do this and her parents want to do this. What else is there?"
Meanwhile, McKenzie and other families hoping to work with other doctors in their respective compassion exemption cases are in a race against time.
"He's in the application process right now," Schiff said on Monday.
"You're signing up to work with a patient that's not expected to live," Schiff said. "That doctor, in turn, is agreeing to very little compensation, a huge amount of paperwork and the potential for liability."
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