NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival addresses innovative cancer remedies

Cancer is one of the top killers in the United States. The World Health Organization said it is one of the major health threats to our country.

On Tuesday, cancer specialists are in meetings in Naples.

Bob Baldori said he is lucky to be alive and to attend the NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival.

“When I started, they told me I had a year to live and a 15 percent chance of any of this working,” Baldori said. “I was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer. I had a two-inch tumor.”

That was a year ago. Now, Baldori is listening to these doctors’ ideas about a cure for all cancers.

Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, from Lilly Oncology, is among them. Blackwell is one of four medical professionals who talked about victory over cancer at the festival.

“A cure for many types of cancer could be right around the corner,” Blackwell said. “Some cancers, like Leukemia, we have a cure today.”

One of the issues she is at the Naples festival is to shed light on how medical professionals are using decades-old treatments on patients today.

“Diabetes or heart disease, we don’t have a cure for those diseases either,” Blackwell said. “But we have highly effective treatments without very many side effects.”

As researchers continue to work toward a cure, she wants treatments developed that will keep people alive with fewer side effects.

But, Dr. William Nelson, from Johns Hopkins Hospital, said the tricky part is cancers are always evolving and trying to defy the best treatments. Getting a better understanding of the genes that cause cancer will save more lives in the future.

These new treatments are paramount to continue innovative treatments, such as the one that may have saved Baldori’s life.

“My last CAT scan,” Baldori said, “there was no cancer that we could see.”

Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer:Michael Mora
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