From OHC

June 2, 2017


Clinical trial patient Clyde Perfect is surrounded by his OHC care team under the guidance of Dr. Suzanne Partridge.

Clyde Perfect had always been healthy, or “extremely lucky” as he puts it. Then last year, this active 84-year-old started coughing.

“I had this cough, and it was especially bad when I ate,” explained Clyde, who, along with his family, have owned and operated Perfect North Slopes since 1981. “I went to my family doctor who sent me to a throat doctor. After some tests, he sent me to a lung doctor. She did a CT scan and found multiple tumors in my lungs, and then sent me to Dr. Suzanne Partridge, my OHC doctor.”

After a PET scan, Dr. Partridge confirmed that Clyde had stage 4 lung cancer.

“When I first heard I had cancer, well, I didn’t like it much. I just put myself in Dr. Partridge’s hands. And she got me the ‘miracle pill.’”

Dr. Partridge explained to Clyde that he had a mutant gene that causes lung cancer. That made sense to him because he never smoked. She also told Clyde about a clinical trial testing a medication – Clyde’s miracle pill – that targeted the mutant gene. LUN 15231 is a clinical trial testing a targeted therapy to a specific mutation, an ALK mutation that only exists in 4 percent of all lung cancer patients and usually non-smokers – just like Clyde.

“We detected this on foundation one testing, which is a molecular profiling test for cancer, to try to find what makes the cancer grow and hopefully lead to more personalized treatment based on what drives his particular cancer,” explained Suzanne M. Partridge, MD, OHC medical oncologist. “Previously the drug crizotinib had been used, but brigatinib is the next-generation medication for this mutation. The trial is comparing crizotnib vs. brigatinib to see if it is better.”

Clyde said within eight hours of starting the medication, he already felt different. So far, he has experienced no side effects and his oxygen level is back to where it should be.

“I was in bad shape at Christmas. I’d get out of breath putting my coat on,” said Clyde. “Then on December 20, I started on the ‘magic pill’ (brigatinib).” Clyde has since returned to his old self. He chops wood and is building a new farm fence.

“As far as the medication, my family thinks it’s perfect,” he said with a sly grin. “I recommend everyone participate in a clinical trial if they can. And I recommend everyone here at OHC. They’ve all been wonderful. They told me if this had happened six years ago, my only option would have been chemo. And now, because of their care and the trial, I get to take this pill. This magic pill.”

“I just hope it can help others,” added Clyde, “A lot of people ask me about the pill because they have a friend or an uncle who has lung cancer. That’s one reason why I’m doing this.”

Comments (20)

20 responses to “Clinical Trial Becomes a “Perfect” Opportunity”

  1. Patricia Kelley says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for you and your family! I had a bone marrow transplant December, 2013. Dr. Partridge was my first oncologist and I think very highly of her. OHC is wonderful!

  2. Debbie "Chipman" Murray says:

    Awesome news Clyde!!! So happy for you. Talked with Ela Mae last fall when you were contemplating the trial. My husband also has lung cancer and did what was a trial with OHC but is now the miracle drug for him. We LOVE those people!!!!

  3. Harry and Linda Fox says:

    Thanks for sharing, incredible story. We know you have always been very active, since Harry use to farm the bottoms near your and farm and we lived on Salt Fork near there. So glad u have a handle on this horrible disease and we wish you all the best and many more Christmas’s to come with your family.

  4. Joe Hilgefort says:

    Glad it’s going well Clyde…God speed and take care! Friday night ski patrol…6:00 – 9:30 Crew Chief.

  5. Adam Heist says:

    So sorry to hear. Glad you’re getting good results. PNS was my first job, I remember helping Clyde out and chopping some of that wood. Perfects us been a huge part of my life and I’m still on the ski patrol there. Who knew my first job 17 years ago would last so long. Love the family and everyone around it. Will be praying for the Perfect family.

  6. Rose DeJarmette says:

    Clyde, I am saddened by your ilness, but very excited about “your magic pill” I wish you and your family the best.

  7. You can’t keep a good man down. I’m So happy for the treatment that is working for you. There has been lots of cancer in my husbands side of the family which most was and are living around Bright Indiana which have been your neighbor for many years. God bless you and your family.

  8. Todd Strasser says:

    Clyde, I recognized you immediately and I’m so happy you’re doing well. I’ll always remember you as helping dad getting his construction company off the ground with you as my favorite brick layer. Over 50 years later….I have not forgotten. Please be well, I’m very happy for you.

  9. Leann Orem says:

    So glad to hear you are doing well Clyde. Stay strong. My prayers are with you and your family. Perfects was the perfect place to work.

  10. Anita Sizemore says:

    Thank You Clyde for helping research! Hope this continues to work, prayers coming your way! You and Ella were great neighbors!

  11. pat schuyler says:

    Clyde you are looking great, but not as great as Ellie looks. Thank God you are doing good

  12. Gerrie Driggers says:

    So glad to hear the good news. Much like you to share. May you have many more years to share with your family.

  13. Bonnie Clements says:

    Clyde, wishing you the best with the treatment. I love the early mornings you talked to us before the weekends got busy with skiers.

  14. Rick McKay says:

    So glad it is working, Clyde is a good man, I used to work for him when he was a bricklayer, and have the utmost respect for him.

  15. Jill Meadows says:

    Clyde I am a friend of Doug & Tim, here in Houston area. I’ve known Tim since 1972 or so….what a gal! I, also have been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer without ever smoking. I have a mutant gene called BRAF and I’ve gone thru several types of chemo as there was no clinical trial for this one at MDAnderson.. I am currently kicking cancers but by taking Me kinds and Tafinlar together. My tumors are shrinking after a year (started this regime July 2016) and am thankful for everyday even if I can’t chop wood or build a fence. I don’t have that kind of energy. But I can hug my grands and pray for each of them daily. I’m happy with that! God bless you, your family and especially your doctor….doctors are amazing blessings. Mine is from Brazil and is leaving MDANDERSON to go to Sao Paolo to head up their cancer department and implement a research dept!! Prayers for him too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *