January 9, 2019

Phoenix—In landmark news for Americans’ healthcare rights, a California patient with an aggressive form of brain cancer is being treated with an investigational vaccine currently in Phase 2 clinical trials under the Right to Try law.

“Thanks to the leadership of Americans who supported Right to Try laws across the country and at the federal level, patients who are battling a terminal illness are now able to pursue potentially lifesaving treatments that would not otherwise be available to them,” said Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches. “The news that a brain cancer patient who had run out of options may now have hope thanks to Right to Try is why these advocates worked so tirelessly to make this law a reality.”

The patient was diagnosed with recurrent glioblastoma, and FDA-approved therapies have been unsuccessful at treating this deadly and aggressive form of brain cancer. One treatment, a vaccine known as ERC1671, has shown promise in clinical trials, but this patient had not qualified for the ongoing trial for the treatment. The patient requested the treatment under the Right to Try law, which was enacted in 2017, and the patient’s treatment with ERC1671 began at the University of California, Irvine in late November 2018.

In a statement put out by ERC-USA, Daniela Bota, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program and associate professor of neurology, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, said, “The Right to Try laws may be the only alternative for many patients who may not qualify for clinical trials based on a variety of factors, including progression of disease, comorbidities, existing medications, physical limitations and others.”

The Right to Try movement is based on the belief that no patient facing a terminal illness should have to beg the federal government for permission to save their own life. Right to Try is now the law of the land, after federal legislation was signed into law this past May with bipartisan support. In addition to the federal law, 41 states have their own Right to Try laws on the books.

Right to Try, which was developed by the Goldwater Institute, works in tandem with the current FDA approval process. A patient facing a life-threatening disease who has exhausted FDA-approved options may seek the treatment from the manufacturer without having to first navigate bureaucratic and time-consuming federal red tape. The Right to Try law puts the most personal healthcare decisions back in the rightful hands of patients and their families, without having to wait on government consent.

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About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.

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