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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Silvia Stangalini

Tivozanib RCC

Silvia shares her story of how treatment with Nivolumab and Tivozanib resulted in a complete response of her kidney cancer.

I never thought I would be sharing this when I was diagnosed with Stage 4, Grade 4, clear cell renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid features February 16, 2018.

The tumor was 7.5 cm and I had mets to one ovary, my liver and both lungs. After 5 months of Afinitor +Lenvatinib I had progression in my lungs, abdomen, pleural effusion, and above all the peritoneal carcinomatosis with a huge amount of ascitic fluid in my abdomen. 

In December 2018 I started the combo Nivolumab + Tivozanib (I live in Italy). I was treated with 11 cycles of Tivozanib and then monthly Nivolumab.

It has been a long and hard journey… 

I was hospitalized three times.

I saw death in my face twice… the worst part was the intestinal sub occlusion. I had a peritoneal catheter in my abdomen for three months. From it I drained 80 liters of ascitic fluid (21 gallons!).

My oncologist thought there was no return… and informed my relatives. No one believed in me anymore… I was a pre-terminal patient!

But I felt that the flame of hope was burning in me. People just didn’t see it. I’ve always thought I had a chance, my chance. 

I started reading patients stories on Facebook and blogs with successful ends in their health profile … patients who had a complete response to immunotherapy. 

I read these stories, read them again and again … until I identified myself in them. 

I was scanned 02.04.21 and MRI three days ago  and received the incredible news from my oncologist: Complete Response!

I can’t believe it, I feel blessed and graced! I cried tears of joy! I know mine is a case study. 

My oncologist told me: “Madam, you won not only with the right therapies, but with the healing power of the mind”. 

All I know is that three years ago I met patients on Facebook and blogs who supported me and these communities lit the flame of hope for me! You supported me at my darkest days and it’s very, very appreciated!

Thank you to you all! I am very grateful to you because you’re part of my rebirth.

God is great all the time. 

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