DENVER — A Portland woman who was diagnosed with cancer came to Denver for a clinical trial and it saved her life.
Nichol Miller, a 45-year-old wife and mother of three, was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2014 that led to numerous hospital stays, time away from her family, a bad bout with chemotherapy and a surgery that left a 17-inch scar on her hip but ultimately was successful.
“That day I was woke up feeling amazing because we cut the cancer out because I thought yes, we’re winning,” Miller said. “Then doc came in and said there were tumors in my lungs, so we weren’t winning.”
And those tumors were growing quickly.
Meanwhile, one of Miller’s doctors sent her test results away from advanced genetic testing and soon discovered she had a rare form of cancer where genes were broken then fused back together.
So she came to Colorado for a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
“We decided to do the clinical trial because the only other option we were given was hospice,” Miller said.
She was the first patient in the country to try a new experimental drug, Vitrakvi. She took the pill in the morning and a pill at night. And within weeks, those cancerous tumors in her chest were gone.
“It was remarkable,” she said.
Miller is healthy and cancer free nowadays.
She’s also on a mission to stress the importance of genetic testing because without it, she would’ve never been in the trial and may not be alive today.
The treatment was approved by the FDA in November of last year.