Cancer genomic testing | Jamal’s story

My name is Jamal Tamer, my passion is cooking since I was a little kid. That’s what I majored in at school. Everyone has a dream. My dream is to have a restaurant because I love cooking. Everything was normal at work and even outside work. Then I started having bad headaches, which led to me going to the hospital to get a check up. Then we figured out that it was a tumour. You know, the major change in the treatment of cancer for the last few years is that we understand the disease better. We are able to make a better diagnosis, and we start to be able to personalise treatment. So we are talking here about precision medicine. Jamal was referred to us almost two years ago in April 2017. At the time Jamal was suffering from a rare type of brain tumour. We were monitoring Jamal for a couple of months and we saw rapid growth of the tumour. We discussed his case in our multidisciplinary tumour meeting. We agreed that maybe doing comprehensive genomic testing for Jamal would bring an alternative treatment. So, we did the test and the test was positive for a type of gene defect which is very rare in this type of tumour, very, very rare. Usually we don’t think about it in our routine practice. After we received the results of the biopsy that we send to a lab in the States, Dr Assi requested a medicine that I should be taking. The genomic defect is really linked to a specific treatment that we usually use in breast cancer, in kidney cancer, but we never think about using it with brain tumours. So, we started that treatment and after a few months we were very surprised because we started to see the tumour start to shrink. After a couple of months the symptoms improved. After almost one year the tumour has a significant decrease in size. So, surgery became an option as well as radiation therapy. I took it before and after the surgery, and till now I’m still taking it. The results are very positive. We have been on the same treatment for almost two years, and Jamal continue to function completely normally. He has no side effects, he works, he has a very good quality of life. I’m very confident to say that the treatment really saved the life of Jamal. I believe every single patient with cancer has the right to have comprehensive genomic testing. I want to say something for anyone who’s passing through a similar experience. You should do follow-ups with your doctor till the end.

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