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'One of 110'

Joyce Shoffner tells the Charlotte News & Observer that while she's unsure whether she would have had a better treatment outcome had she not participated in a clinical trial based on Anil Potti's now-retracted work, she is "devastated. ... If you have a very serious cancer and two-and-a-half years later you think you are involved in a study that is cutting edge and [it's discredited], it is devastating." After she was diagnosed with invasive ductile adenocarcinoma, Shoffner enrolled in three clinical trials at Duke University per her physician's advice. She was one of 110 patients who participated in these trials based on Potti's study, which suggested genetic predictors for cancer therapy outcomes. Though genetically guided "chemotherapy was supposed to shrink her tumor before she underwent surgery to remove it … The opposite happened. The cancer grew and spread to lymph nodes, and as a result of the chemotherapy, she developed blood clots," according to the News & Observer. Now 63, Shoffner says she blames Duke administrators and Potti's collaborators for her having been treated on the basis of "flawed science." Still, the News & Observer says "she has nothing but praise for the care she received at the university's cancer clinic," and maintains a sense of optimism. "I believe in clinical trials, and if you have the chance to do something to keep someone else from going through this, you ought to do it," Shoffner tells the News & Observer.

HT: Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch

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