Beaverton teen denied cancer drug access

Nathan Traller and his daughter, Nathalie, who is battling a rare form of cancer, March 2, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Nathan Traller and his daughter, Nathalie, who is battling a rare form of cancer, March 2, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Two years ago, Nathalie Traller was diagnosed with a very rare cancer that the former soccer player battles every day.

But after eight surgeries, including one to remove a brain tumor, the 15-year-old is now battling the drug companies.

“There are some promising medicines that could help Nathalie and offer hope,” her father, Nathan Traller, told KOIN 6 News. But for many of the clinical trials, a patient needs to be 18.

The family is looking toward drugs called PD1 or PD1 Blockers. These drugs would let Nathalies’s own natural defenses battle the cancer.

But drug companies, including Genentech and Merck, have refused to let her take part, even under the “compassionate use” path.

“I really don’t know why we’re receiving this answer, but it doesn’t feel very compassionate,” he said.

Bristol Meyers-Squib said they are planning pediatric trials in October, but it’s not known if Nathalie will be included in that trial program.

Nathalie is keeping a positive attitude.

“Every day just trying to do my best and seeing how much I can do, just not letting stuff stop me,” she said. “I just feel so loved and cared for and it’s nice to have these people who will stand by you no matter what and fight for you as hard as you’d fight for yourself.”

Nathalie Traller on Facebook

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