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Las Vegas grandfather tests promising drug for prostate cancer

New cancer treatment being tested in Nevada

A new drug is promising new hope for prostate cancer patients.

William Cooley is one of only 10 people in the country to try the drug. Cooley said he will never forget the moment he realized something was seriously wrong.

“My testicles were in my stomach. It was like 'boom, boom, boom' all the time,” said Cooley.

The prognosis was stage-4 prostate cancer.

“I was depressed. I was in shock. Most of all, I was terrified,” Cooley explained. "You know, it was like, 'Wow, how long do I have to live?'"

The 52-year-old was told he had just a year or two to live.

“His cancer blood test was over 1,000. Normal numbers, less than four,” explained Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, Cooley's oncologist at Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

Dr. Vogelzang said Cooley’s cancer had spread to other parts of his body, which makes him a good candidate for a promising new drug.

Cooley is participating in a study to receive Lutetium. The trial medication arrived at Comprehensive Cancer Centers in a box.

The drug is radioactive.

“Radioactivity is like a bomb or a lightning bolt that will kill cancer that is dividing by destroying its machinery for cell division,” explained Dr. Vogelzang.

The drug is for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

“This particular treatment already has shown to have dramatic effects in 30 or 40 percent of patients where cancer virtually disappears from the bones,” said Dr. Vogelzang.

As for Cooley, he said it’s nerve-wracking. It’s why Cooley is focusing his attention on the drug that could add years to his life.

“I just take it day by day,” said Cooley. “I'm looking at maybe one to eight years, so that’s better than one to four, you know what I mean?”

After an FDA review, Dr. Vogelzang said the treatment could be available to the public within a year or two.

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