Kristen Louis, Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Comprehensive Cancer Centers is committed to offering groundbreaking research to its patients. In this Research Spotlight, learn how Kristen’s cancer journey is helping find more treatment options for patients with breast cancer.
Looking at Nathan Louis, a beautiful 15-month-old boy, you would never know the journey he and his mom, Kristen, have gone through to get here.
In late 2018, when Kristen was just 30 years-old, she noticed a small dimple in her right breast.
She made an appointment with her OB-GYN and surprisingly learned that she was pregnant. Fortunately, her doctor didn’t write off the dimple as being related to the newly discovered pregnancy and ordered additional testing.
After an ultrasound and biopsy, Kristen was diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, HER-2-negative early-stage breast cancer. She was referred to Comprehensive Cancer Centers, where she first met her medical oncologist, Dr. Stephani Christensen.
After examining her options, Kristen decided on a chemotherapy and lumpectomy path. At first, embarking on a chemotherapy journey while pregnant was a bit startling. But Dr. Christensen – and the data she was armed with – reassured her that it was totally safe.
Kristen endured a lumpectomy and completed eight rounds of chemotherapy, seven while she was pregnant. Amid her courageous treatment, Kristen gave birth to a healthy and vibrant baby boy. She then had another lumpectomy, mastectomy and completed a series of radiation treatments.
While Kristen and Dr. Christensen successfully beat cancer in its early stage, Dr. Christensen noted that Kristen is at high risk for recurrence. To be proactive, Dr. Christensen identified and enrolled Kristen in the Phase III clinical trial of NATALEE.
The goal of the trial is to further reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Currently, Comprehensive Cancer Centers has nearly 20 patients enrolled in the trial, which involves evaluating a drug called ribociclib in conjunction with conventional endocrine therapy.
Kristen began her NATALEE trial in March 2020 and has done really well so far with very little side effects. From here, she’ll continue the trial for three years and then receive standard of care for approximately seven years.
The trial has given hope to Kristen and her physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Over time, hopefully this trial will make a broader, positive impact on patients throughout the world.
For more information on the latest trials offered at Comprehensive, click here or call 702-952-3350.