William McDonald, Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is committed to offering groundbreaking research to its patients. In this Research Spotlight, learn how research at Comprehensive has continued to improve William health.

William McDonald’s battle with lung cancer felt like a lost cause.

When he moved to Las Vegas and connected with an oncologist at Comprehensive Cancer Centers (Comprehensive), hope was restored and he was given new life, literally.

In 2016, when he wasn’t feeling well and was having difficulty breathing, William was sent to multiple specialists who were unable to pinpoint the cause of his ailments. His cancer fight officially began in May of 2016 when a chest x-ray determined he had Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

For three years, he received chemotherapy near his home in Northern California and, according to his doctors there, the long-term prognosis appeared bleak. His health remained stable, but the treatments didn’t drastically alter his health path. He also experienced some reactions to the medication he was on.

In 2019, William decided to move to Las Vegas. He did not expect the move to have such a positive impact on his heath care. Unbeknownst to him, he had suffered a stroke that went undiagnosed until he was seen by doctors in Las Vegas – they were finally able to give him an answer as to why he lost the use of his dominant left side.

Upon moving to Las Vegas, he was connected with Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, a medical oncologist at Comprehensive, and he was immediately impressed with the level of care he received. Dr. Vogelzang is a renowned medical oncologist and cancer researcher who leads and participates in many of the practice’s clinical trials. As a result of his efforts in research, he has helped lead several studies to FDA approval and received numerous awards including the Giants of Cancer Care honor in 2018.

William was already receiving every FDA-approved treatment for his condition with little improvement when he arrived at Comprehensive. Dr. Vogelzang recommended he take part in a Phase Ib open-label clinical trial. The paperwork was signed, he started the program, and he began to have hope for the first time.

Beginning in September 2019, he participated in a clinical trial for patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors. For two years, his health showed improvement and his cancer subsided. However, recently doctors found a spot on his liver that resulted in an altered course of action.

Trusting the team at Comprehensive with another research study, he began a new clinical trial in September and is feeling well. The new program is a Phase I open-label clinical trial that is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and antitumor activity of the drug SGN-B6A, an antibody-drug conjugate, in adults with select advanced solid tumors.

Today, William says that he would recommend clinical trials to other patients and is grateful for the improved care he has received since moving from California. Under the care of Dr. Vogelzang and Comprehensive, he looks forward to soon celebrating his 70th birthday while bringing in a new year.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers has partnered with some of the world’s most recognizable research and cancer-fighting organizations including The US Oncology Network, UCLA TRIO-US, USC, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and leading pharmaceutical companies to offer groundbreaking research to its patients. The practice participates in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical research studies each year and has played a role in developing more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies. For more information on the practice’s latest trials, visit www.cccnevada.com or call 702-952-3350.