I know some of you remember me sharing the petition for Nick Auden to try and gain compassionate use of either Merck's or BMS's anti-pd1 drug. While waiting to try and get this drug, he started TIL treatment at MD Anderson. I learned this weekend that Nick passed away on Friday. Please keep his wife Amy and their 3 young children in your thoughts and prayers.
Nick reached out to me in January of this year. We were both trying to get in to the anti-pd1 trial about the same time. I remember his first note talking about keeping in touch and comparing notes as we went thru this drug. He had tried a number of other treatments already (IL2, Ipi, Zelboraf, etc). We had somewhat similar stories - tumors in abdomen, small intestine. I would start Merck's phase 1 trial Jan 21st. Nick never got to start. The first time he was disqualified due to brain mets. The 2nd time, they determined brain mets were stable and would allow him in, but then a bowel obstruction prevented him from ever getting started. He was again disqualified from starting the trial.
In the last 3 years of dealing with Melanoma I've seen so much progress... yet we still have so far to go! I understand why drug companies don't want to open up the drug to everyone (or allow compassionate use when still in phase 1 trials) but for someone like Nick who had run out of options - you're willing to try anything! He never got the chance.
(Some definitions of compassionate use, etc)