Judge Restores Cancer Patient’s Last Hope

     PROVIDENCE (CN) — A terminally ill college student won a restraining order against the Food and Drug Administration after it put a hold on his experimental treatment without notice.
     Eugene “Neil” Fachon, 20, was diagnosed with cancer in March and given three months to live, according to his 5-page federal complaint.
     The cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), has no known cure, but can be treated with radiation therapy, which has the possibility to “prolong survival by no more than three months,” the complaint states.
     Fachon’s attorney Kathleen Hagerty said in an interview that, after looking into alternative options, Fachon found a Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial treatment for DIPG patients at the Burzynski Research Institute in Houston, Texas.
     Since the study was available only to patients who had not received radiation, however, she says Fachon declined the more traditional route, and moved from Rhode Island to Houston with his family temporarily to receive the daily treatment.
     Fachon was on the clinical trial from April 21 until May 3 when the FDA put a hold on the program, Hagerty said, stopping his treatment immediately and without notice.
     The medicine had been helping Fachon, the attorney added.
     “He believes he felt improvement,” Hagerty said. “He told me he felt better. He had more energy.”
     To restore his treatment, Fachon suit Tuesday against the FDA, as well as a restraining order.
     U.S. District Judge John McConnell Jr. granted the relief later that afternoon.
     “He is back on treatment,” Hagerty said Wednesday.
     Hagerty also noted that the restraining order indicates a likelihood of success on the merits.
     “Neil’s constitutional rights were violated because there was no due process,” Hagerty said. “He was enrolled in a trial and the FDA shut it down without any consideration of him. Their decision was arbitrary and capricious in that they indicated that they are doing it because of an inspection they did back in March 2015, but they took no action until April 21, 2016.”
     “No one knows how he’s going to do on this,” Hagerty added, “but it gave him hope.”

%d bloggers like this: