On Monday mornings, Bob Michaels walks into the infusion center at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and takes a seat in a comfortable barcalounger.
An oncology nurse connects the port implanted in the retired university professor’s chest to a portable IV pump. The device will deliver a continuous supply of an experimental therapy over the next four days, as he carries it around in a small shoulder bag.
Doctors diagnosed Michaels, 70, with bladder cancer in the late summer of 2011 (we’ve changed his last name for medical privacy reasons). Despite several rounds of surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer continued to metastasize. His doctors were running out of treatment options.
Which is what brings Michaels to that barcalounger. Weill Cornell is one of several facilities participating in a clinical trial for the promising cancer drug, known as BPM 31510.