Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS-- Local cancer patients have a chance to be on the cutting edge of new treatments.

Doctors are testing a new treatment for lung cancer that specifically targets the genetics of each tumor, and you can be a part of the free treatment.

For nearly three years, Constance Heaphy has survived lung cancer that's spreaded to her lymph nodes.

'So far it's gone. It's gone because I did go through the chemo and then after the chemo you go through the clinical trials to make sure that it stays away, that it doesn't come back,' Heaphy said.

She went through standard treatment, but then she qualified for a clinical trial at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center run by LSUHSC.

The doctors are working on the latest state-of-the-art science and testing new ways of killing cancer cells.

Constance is trying a vaccine to help her immune system fight off any cancer than may come back.

'I'm fine. I feel great. I haven't had any side effects, anything. It's been a good experience,' said Heaphy.

And now LSU researchers have been asked by a group of pharmaceutical companies and oncology groups to be one of the first sites to test another new treatment for lung cancer.

'It is designed so that, if they are diagnosed, they're receiving treatment. It provides them another opportunity in the event that they would progress further,' said Eileen Mederos, a nurse and program manager at the Stanley Scott Cancer Center at LSUHSC.

Lung-MAP is the new clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. And like all of the treatment studies, is free for patients who qualify. In this trial, the specific genetic makeup of your cancer cells will be tested and then you'd get one of the personalized treatments targeted to your tumors.

'If your doctor felt like you needed something or there's a chance that you would progress, then you need to contact us. We would evaluate you for the clinical trial to see if you were appropriate,' Mederos said.

To see if you qualify for the Lung-MAP clinical trial, call 504-407-7395.

Lung-MAP is a collaboration between six major cancer programs and five pharmaceutical companies.

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