Billie Hughes’ Patient Story

Born and raised in Dallas, Billie is blessed with seven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren even though she was the mother of only two children! She confesses to having been a smoker but says she quit 15 years before being diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.

“I became short of breath in 2010 and it was just not getting any better,” says Billie. Shortly thereafter, her oncologist told her she had metastatic lung cancer, and she underwent radiation and chemotherapy. However, the treatment was not able to stop the cancer’s progression so her oncologist referred her to Mary Crowley Cancer Research for clinical trial evaluation.

In April, 2014, Billie enrolled in clinical trial containing a PDL antibody that is designed to train the body’s immune system to attack the cancer.  She was on the trial for a year, and it successfully reduced her tumor by 60% and stopped the cancer’s growth. In addition to favorable results, Billie says the care she received at Mary Crowley could not have been any better, and the nurses and staff were excellent.

Billie has had stable disease for over two years without needing further treatment. Her primary oncologist continues to keep a watchful eye by seeing her every six months. In the meantime, Billie lives with her daughter and is enjoying life and her favorite pastimes of going to the gym, walking and shopping.

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We bring hope to cancer patients through innovative clinical trials while advancing treatment for patients in the future.