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Life-saving drug no longer available for veteran

Drug no longer available to vet fighting cancer (WKRC)
Drug no longer available to vet fighting cancer (WKRC)
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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Perry Schaible) - An Anderson Township man in the fight of his life is now battling a pharmaceutical company.

His family said the life-saving drug keeping him alive is no longer available. It's a story seen first on Local 12 News.

30-year-old Brad Giesting has been to war before and came out the other side. The Iraq veteran spent a year overseas. Now back home he's fighting a different opponent: cancer. Tuesday, Dec. 22, he had the final dose of a drug his family says is saving his life. The last few years were a roller coaster ride for Brad and his wife, Annie, and their two young daughters.

Doctors diagnosed Brad in May 2013 with a rare and aggressive form of cancer: Lipo Sarcoma.

"I don't know how he does it and stays so strong for everybody," said Annie.

There were a series of treatments, good news and then more heartbreak. Doctors found several tumors in his abdomen. So Brad joined a clinical trial at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus. Every week for the last year and a half he's made the drive up 71 for treatments. And, it's been working.

"He has one that they're measuring and it's less than a centimeter, so it's small. But, before we found this trial when we were searching for the next option or what to do next the tumors that he had doubled in size in a matter of weeks," Annie said.

The family thought the trial drug Morab was its miracle. But last week, with little notice, the pharmaceutical company Morphatek ended the trial. The drug was working for Brad but hasn't been working for enough people.

"Never in a million years would I imagine that this drug that is working for my husband, they're going to say forget it, sorry about your luck," Annie told Local 12.

Brad's doctors asked the company for a compassionate use, which would allow him to continue on the life-saving medication even though the trial no longer exists. His family and the hospital both say Morphotek denied the request. So now the man who put himself in danger for others is in danger himself.

Local 12 News got a message Tuesday afternoon from Annie who said she got word from Morphotek that the company will let Brad use the drug through January. And then they'll try to help figure out the next step.

CLICK HERE to follow Brad's battle against cancer on Facebook.

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