Houston, TX

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer's patient shares her story of being free from papillary thyroid cancer

Jason Martinez

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HOUSTON, TX — The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's patient, Morgan Romero, shared her story of being cured of papillary thyroid cancer, thanks to treatment at the cancer center.

Since 2012, Romero has been suffering from cancer. Doctors near her home suggested hospice after she received her first diagnosis. She was only 17 years old at the time and she didn't want to give up. So she decided to go to MD Anderson.

During her first appointment at MD Anderson in April 2013, she met with endocrinologist Dr. Anita Ying who recommended a radioactive iodine pill to kill any remaining thyroid tissue she might have.

Previously, a team of doctors in Dallas had performed surgery to remove the gland, but there were some stray cells left. After the surgery, she was given two targeted therapy drugs called lenvatinib and sorafenib.

Since her thyroid cancer had spread to her lungs, Dr. Ying recommended a Phase I/II clinical trial under the supervision of Dr. Vivek Subbiah who at the time was testing a new targeted therapeutic drug called pralsetinib. The drug produced very promising results in patients with thyroid and lung cancer.

In March 2018, Romero decided to enter a clinical trial. After receiving the first dose of the targeted therapy drug, she immediately felt better. The only side effect she felt was high blood pressure which she controlled by consuming other drugs.

After therapy, Romero still has a few small spots of cancer in her lung, but she no longer needs an oxygen mask to help her breathe, and most of her illnesses had already disappeared.

In addition to stabilizing her cancer, Romero also thanked MD Anderson for a $1,200 scholarship she received through the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program in 2019. The scholarship helped her achieved her dream to study at college. The scholarship is designed to provide funding to support MD Anderson cancer patients and survivors.

To request an appointment at MD Anderson, please call 1-855-548-4392 or visit https://my.mdanderson.org/RequestAppointment.

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