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Prostate Cancer Meets Its Match

Thursday, June 14, 2018 8:19 AM

It was 11 years ago when John Lucadamo first noticed swelling in his right leg while traveling with his wife in St. Petersburg, Russia. Initially, Lucadamo worried he might be suffering from deep vein thrombosis—a potentially dangerous blood clot. But upon the couple’s return home, his doctors identified the symptom as something equally, if not more serious: advanced prostate cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes.

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As scary as the diagnosis was at the time, the now 72-year-old Lucadamo continues to live a full, active life with few side effects, thanks to advanced treatments led by his NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center Oncologist Daniel Shevrin, MD.

Nonsurgical Intervention
Dr. Shevrin started Lucadamo on hormone therapy, which put the cancer in remission for many years. As the cancer inevitably became resistant to that treatment, he offered Lucadamo a series of novel medications. This included participating in an innovative clinical trial and, most recently, undergoing highly targeted radiation with William Bloomer, MD, The Anna Hamann Chair of Radiation Medicine.

“I had the flu a few years ago, and I felt far worse with that than I’ve felt from Dr. Shevrin’s treatments,” said Lucadamo, whose cancer has been kept at bay for more than a decade.

“One of our goals now in treating men with advanced prostate cancer is to make it more of a chronic illness that people can live with for a long time and with good quality of life,” explained Dr. Shevrin, who along with Dr. Bloomer, holds an academic appointment at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Spirit of Discovery
Dr. Shevrin actively pursues genomic research to further advance prostate cancer care options. “It’s a very exciting time as we have more effective treatment options with fewer side effects. There’s also more sophisticated imaging and other technology for early and accurate detection.”

Lucadamo has high praise for Dr. Shevrin, Dr. Bloomer and the clinical teams that have successfully kept his cancer in check and his energy level high. The retired high school teacher stays busy with continuing education classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and also volunteers weekly at Evanston’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Church lunch program.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” added Lucadamo. “These therapies have managed my disease well and everyone at NorthShore treats me like a human being, not just a patient.”