The therapy I worked on that I am most proud of is Erivedge, an oral hedgehog inhibitor FDA approved for metastatic basal cell carcinoma. I was the research nurse for the Phase I clinical trial and dosed the first patient in the world on this drug (and for this novel targeted pathway). It was a grand slam as the first patient was at the right dose and had a lasting response.
Through the Basal Cell Network, we quickly became the leading enrolling site, treating patients from all over the country. It was breathtaking to see patients’ external tumor sites respond to Erivedge and new healthy tissue grow. Through our efforts, the drug was approved five years and week after the first patient took the initial dose (2nd fastest in FDA history). This was the first systemic therapy for patients with this rare cancer and finally a non-surgical option. Erivedge was a huge win for people suffering from rare diseases as it gives them hope that research will continue to find treatments to help them.
With my vast experience with Erivedge, I was asked by Genentech to share my experiences and side effect management at their national sales conference. I was honored to share the story of Erivedge and help the sales team understand the impact it can have on patients’ and their loved ones’ lives.
Helping people has always been in my heart. It was the reason I went to nursing school. I cherished the small wins that I could do as a nurse to make someone’s day a little better, despite facing a terminal diagnosis.
I serendipitously fell into clinical research and it changed my life. I was touched by the courage and altruism the patients showed by participating in clinical trials. I enjoy caring for clinical trial patients, having a positive impact on their lives, and the millions of others who would benefit from the therapies we developed.
Molly Downhour, MHA BSN NEA-BC OCN
ACRP Member Since 2015