“[Dr. Salgia] was so excited. I could hear him smiling when he told me he had great news, that we had this treatment and I could take it in pill form! I think I was as shocked as I was the day I learned I had cancer.”
— Tabitha Paccione
When Tabitha Paccione went from great health to coughing fits and severe fatigue in 2015, doctors couldn’t figure out why. For 10 months, she endured a series of misdiagnoses and treatments, with no success.
Then, a scan turned up a two-inch tumor on Tabitha’s left lung. Worse news followed. The disease had spread to her bones, liver, lymph nodes and brain.
Tabitha, 35 years old at the time and a nonsmoker, reached out for help to City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. She connected with Ravi Salgia, M.D., Ph.D., an international leader in precision medicine for lung cancer — customizing therapy based on the genetic signatures of each patient and their disease.
Where early testing and interpretation had failed her, precision medicine came through. Salgia identified a rare mutation that triggered her cancer. There were a pair of drugs shown by research to be especially effective in targeting it.
The second medicine was a success. Tabitha felt better within weeks. And eventually, the cancer was gone altogether.