War veteran fighting for access to life-saving medication

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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Brad Giesting spent time fighting for our country and now he is fighting for his life.

In 2013, Giesting was diagnosed with Liposarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer, after feeling a bit of pain in his abdomen.

According to WLWT, his doctors say a clinical trial drug has been keeping the Army veteran alive.

“They’ve all really called it a miracle,” he said.

However, his access to that life-saving drug is in danger.

“From the very beginning, I had three or four multiple tumors they were measuring. I started this trial, and slowly they started shrinking and disappeared from there,” Giesting said.

Now, Giesting is left with one small tumor.

The drug company Morphotek has stopped the clinical trial, saying the drug isn’t working to save the lives of most of the trial patients.

“I didn’t think they would just call it quits right there and send me on my way,” he told WCPO.

Doctors say they tried to convince the company to allow Giestling to stay on the drug, but to no avail.

“It was pretty heartbreaking, really,” he said. “I’m not ready to quit. I fought through all this chemo, fighting to get back on this drug. I’m not one to give up so I’m going to keep fighting.”

Giesting’s wife, Annie, can’t fathom losing the love of her life.

“What if this is your son or your husband? Put yourself in their shoes for just a minute,” she told WLWT. “It’s not all about numbers or money or any of that, I mean, it’s a life.”

A spokesperson for Morphotek sent WLWT the following statement:

“Morphotek is disappointed to report that the MORAb-004 sarcoma trial failed to meet its primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival in sarcoma patients and also met the criteria of futility. This means that no clinical benefit was observed based on the analysis, and a data monitoring committee independent from the sponsor recommended that it would not be appropriate to continue to treat patients with investigational MORAb-004 on this trial given the lack of clinical benefit and potential safety risks. All of the patients who participated in the study will work with their individual clinical investigators to determine and facilitate the most appropriate treatment course moving forward. Morphotek is committed to developing drugs that have the potential to benefit patients with cancer, and thanks all patients and providers who participated in the sarcoma trial.”

The family told WCPO that Morphotek will supply the drug to Giesting through January.