Kevin Galligan - Patient Story

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"I am extremely grateful for the state-of-the-art treatment I have received at Fox Chase."

— Kevin Galligan, Kidney Patient

I had a respiratory infection and bad cough when I returned from a business trip to the Middle East in July 2012. My internist prescribed an antibiotic and scheduled an X-ray; within a few days, the cough and other symptoms were gone, and I was feeling well again. The following week my internist told me that the X-ray had detected an issue on my right lung, so he referred me to a pulmonologist.

The pulmonologist conducted several tests, which were inconclusive, including a bronchoscopy and biopsy of lung tissue. At that point, I was referred to a thoracic surgeon at a local hospital near my home in New Jersey. After the initial consultation, I was scheduled for diagnostic surgery the next morning, and the pathology results indicated stage 4 renal cancer.

Even though I was disappointed by the diagnosis, I was relieved to know what was wrong and what the treatment plan should be. I had a CAT scan, followed by removal of my right kidney and a rib. At that point, however, the cancer had spread to my lung. The oncology team at my local hospital then referred me to Dr. Elizabeth Plimack, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

From the first meeting with Dr. Plimack and her team, I had a feeling I was in the right place and that the care would be excellent. She enrolled me in a clinical trial in February 2013, and I continue to participate today. My therapy includes a 28-day course of sunitinib, and once every three weeks I return to Fox Chase for an examination, labs, and an infusion of the trial drug nivolumab. I also have a CAT scan every three months to determine how effectively the drugs are managing the cancer. My tumors have continued to shrink.

To this day, I am amazed and grateful for the attention and time I received from my doctors, including evening and weekend phone calls. Being referred to Dr. Plimack at Fox Chase was the best thing that could have happened to me. At Fox Chase, I received state-of-the-art treatment, and I have been able to easily manage the side effects of the clinical trial drugs. I remain very active and am able to work every day at an international logistics and transportation company, where I am a vice president. 

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