TV: Pancreatic cancer patient rebounds after thermal therapy



Posted on September 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 21 at 3:55 PM

HOUSTON -- A year ago, 41-year-old Joe Castelli? started to feel weak. Then he lost his appetite and lost ?weight.


KHOU-TV's report

Search Video:
> > >

Doctors in his native Ohio told him he had stage four pancreatic cancer -- practically a death sentence.

Today, the father of two young girls is feeling better after going through six months of ?treatments at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"I am feeling pretty good and I am optimistic about the future," Castelli told 11 News by phone from Ohio.

We introduced you to Castelli?last March when he started his thermal therapy. That's when doctors raise the body temperature to 104 degrees.

Dr. Joan Bull at UT Houston says the heat kicks your immune system into attack mode.

Castelli just finished six rounds of thermal therapy, combined with chemo.

Dr. Bull says his tumor has decreased by a third and he has?gained all of his weight back.

She says the disease is stable for now.

So far, the treatment is no silver bullet.? It doesn't wipe out cancer.

But Bull said it does improve and extend the lives of patients.

"It kills enough tumors so the tumor is not making you feel sick and tired and hurt," Bull said.

Castelli eturns to Houston in two months to be re-evaluated.

The thermal therapy clinical trial is currently accepting patients with: small-cell lung cancer; Non-small-cell lung cancer; neuroendocrine cancer; pancreatic cancer; and gastric cancer. For more information call 713-500-6820.