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Rob Ford taking part in clinical trial to shrink cancerous tumours

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is taking part in a clinical trial in hopes that precision chemotherapy will help shrink his cancerous tumours.

Because cancers are notoriously varied, patients react differently to the same chemotherapy medications. Precision chemotherapy takes small samples of the patient’s tumour and implants them into mice that have been bred without immune systems, and then tests different drugs to see which work best on the mice.

Because the mice have no immunity, researchers are better able to determine which drugs work best in shrinking the tumours, and use those drugs to treat the patient.

Ford is being treated for a rare and aggressive form of cancer called pleomorphic liposarcoma. He underwent surgery to have a tumour on his abdomen removed in May 2015, but by October doctors discovered two new tumours on his bladder.

(To view video on mobile, click here)

The precision chemotherapy program at Mount Sinai Hospital is also known as the Panov Program, named after Toronto resident Yaron Panov, who underwent the precision chemotherapy treatment in 2010 after being given only a few months to live.

Panov was diagnosed as tumour-free in 2014, though he will still require chemotherapy treatments in the future.

At the same time, the Ford family has launched a new website for the Ward 2 councillor, at getwellrobford.com. Visitors are encouraged to send their well wishes to Ford as he undergoes further treatment.

(To view video on mobile, click here)