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First Patient Enrolls in Metastatic Melanoma Clinical Trial at LRCC

Wednesday, August 8 2012

Dr. Helen Chan with Carl Hall, the first patient to enroll in a potential breakthrough melanoma clinical trial at LRCC.

Lakeland Regional Cancer Center (LRCC) is proud to have been initiated as the only enrolling site in the eastern United States for a metastatic melanoma clinical trial, and one patient, in particular, is filled with hope because this ground-breaking option is offered within driving distance from his home in St. Petersburg.

Military Veteran Carl Hall, 79 years, was diagnosed with melanoma six years ago, after inquiring about a shiny mole he discovered on his chest. The cancer was removed in its entirety, along with multiple lymph nodes which all came back clear. Hall was cancer free and bound and determined to enjoy every moment of his life.

Three years later, Hall learned the melanoma had returned. He was referred to Lakeland Regional’s Helen Chan, M.D., a board-certified surgical oncology specialist, who joined him in the fight of his life.

“It meant the world to me to have a specialist on my side who wanted what I wanted,” said Hall. “She has a personality that sets you at ease. She listened to what I wanted and presented every option.”

In 2012, his list of options grew when he learned about LRCC’s new clinical trial, in which cancerous tumors are treated with a potential breakthrough therapy to include a new medication and a mild electrical current. Hall, who is known for doing his homework and asking for second opinions, liked what he learned about the trial – especially since early data revealed the treatment may help destroy cancer while leaving healthy cells intact.

Now just a week into the trial treatment, Hall says he is filled with hope since he has already seen the tumors in his neck shrink in size.

“To already see positive results without the harsh treatments and side effects I’ve experienced in the past is what means the most to me, said Hall. “I am fighting this cancer, while still living life to the fullest.”

Hall says another reason he wanted to take part in the clinical trial is because it had the potential to help many others facing cancer.

“Now that I’m in the midst of it, I want others in my situation to know what this treatment has the potential to do for them – to offer a cure, of sorts, not just remission.”

For more information on this trial or to find out if you are a candidate, please call 863-904-1900. To learn more about LRCC and its clinical trials program, please visit

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