Stomach Cancer Cure Stories
Dr. Robert Nagourney
Rational Therapeutics

The stomach cancer cure stories on this page are excerpted from those patients with advanced stomach and gastric cancer that received customized chemotherapy guided by the tumor functional screening methodology used by Dr. Robert Nagourney of Rational Therapeutics.  A more detailed discussion of standard of care chemotherapy and of the customized chemotherapy guided by Dr. Nagourney’s technology can be found on our Cancer Therapy Options page.

One of our recommended Right Doctors, Dr. Keith Block uses the services of Rational Therapeutics to develop his customized integrated therapy tailored to each cancer patient he treats.  Dr. Block has this to say about Dr. Nagourney:
“Dr. Robert Nagourney has earned international recognition as the most prominent leader in the field of chemosensitivity testing.  For over two decades, my medical staff and I have included his chemosensitivity assay as an invaluable tool in helping us select the optimal chemotherapy regimen for our patients. A more primitive proliferative assay led many to reject such testing early on. However, Dr. Nagourney's pioneering work, developing instead a more prominent apoptotic (programmed cell death) assay, has benefitted innumerable cancer patients and played a pivotal role in their treatment response and treatment outcome. I believe all patients deserve the quality of information that Robert's testing provides, and that in the future, oncology practices will routinely incorporate such testing into the optimal care for patients.”

And now for the Stomach Cancer Cure Stories.

Stomach Cancer Cure Stories -James
Stomach Cancer-Stage IV

I am a 48-year-old male, who after a weekend of sharp abdominal pain and a visit to the emergency room, was diagnosed with widely metastatic stomach cancer.

The first oncologist I met was in the Emergency Room. He prescribed 5-FU chemotherapy claiming that he would try to control the spread but that basically there was no hope. With such negativity, my wife and I wanted to say goodbye and FU-5 times to this doctor.

We then got a second opinion from a university-based oncologist. He prescribed either a treatment with 5-FU or a clinical trial for which I would have to sign-up and randomly get selected to the test group. The control group would receive irinotecan or docetaxel, while the test group would be treated with a combination of two test drugs.

Intuition tells me multiple drug combinations are the better way to go and I wanted to be on the test group without randomization. For the clinical trial however, personal choice is not possible and it was a 50-50 chance to be in the test group. Still, the clinical trial would be a test “using my body” if I got selected. This second doctor was more general in that he disclosed average statistics, but acknowledged that I was not an average Stage IV gastric cancer patient given my age and health.

In-between the consultations, we heard about Dr. Robert Nagourney through a former patient of his. Upon further online research, it was very clear that we needed to consult with Dr. Nagourney. We brought up the topic of functional profiling to our second consulting physician. He was surprised that we knew about this and pushed the approach aside citing statistical significance, etc. He’d further explained that we should only look into this approach if a standard protocol did not work.

My wife and I could not believe what we heard: Basically, the university-based oncologist wanted to use my body for trial-and-error, and he knew about but never disclosed chemosensitivity testing and functional profiling techniques. We then decided to seek a third (and final) opinion.

During our first appointment with Dr. Nagourney, we could clearly sense his passion and conviction in treating cancer patients. He reviewed my case and explained that while the opinion of the university investigator was valid, it might underestimate the patient’s individual chance of response. He explained that gastric cancer statistics, like all medical statistics, are population based. That is, a 20 percent response rate does not mean that every patient gets 20 percent better, but instead, that two out of every 10 respond, while eight do not. He stated that his job was to find out to which group I belonged. And his objective was clear: kill the cancer cells, not control the spread.

I underwent a surgical biopsy and submitted tissue to Rational Therapeutics for the EVA-PCD analysis. The results were strikingly favorable with several drug combinations revealing both activity and synergy. After careful comparison, Dr. Nagourney recommended the combination of Cisplatin, Taxotere and 5FU. On March 12th, I began treatment on an every-other week schedule.

Dr. Nagourney repeated the PET/CT after just two cycles. Much to all of our delights, I had achieved a complete remission with resolution of all measurable disease, including the bulky abdominal masses and numerous lymph nodes.

People say there is no cure for cancer. This must be the belief for the masses and the average. But if anything, each patient is an individual and the closest cure to an individual with cancer may just be within reach through Dr. Nagourney.

NOTE:  The above account was excerpted and summarized from

Stomach Cancer Cure Stories -Jeff
Gastric Cancer-Stage IV

Jeff was 58 years old and in pretty good health when he started losing weight and his red blood cell count dropped. His rheumatologist suspected it was a side effect of his arthritis treatment, however, after further testing something much more frightening was revealed.

An endoscopy determined that Jeff had a tumor in his small intestine near the stomach. His physician described it as, “the most unusual growth,” she had ever seen. The preliminary diagnosis was lymphoma, but the biopsy came back negative. Jeff was then referred to an oncologist for a more thorough exam.

“He was quite blunt,” said Jeff. It was Stage IV gastric cancer of the small intestine, known as adenocarcinoma. The disease had spread to his liver, lymph nodes and chest. The oncologist painted a bleak scenario- surgery and radiation were not options, chemotherapy might be, but probably with little success. “He basically advised me to go home and pack it in,” said Jeff. “Needless to say, the diagnosis was terrifying, so the first thing I did was get my finances in order, including will, trust and insurance; and advise my wife regarding our affairs.”

Jeff first learned about Robert Nagourney, MD, from a friend of his wife. “His protocol of assay-testing cancer tissue for sensitivity to a multitude of chemotherapy options before treatment made tremendous sense to me,” said Jeff. It made sense to have knowledge beforehand as to the effectiveness of various treatments.

Dr. Nagourney reviewed the results of the endoscopy with Jeff. “He advised me that my cancer was very serious and needed immediate attention.” Dr. Nagourney scheduled a PET scan, with orders to receive the results by the next day. He recommended removing some of the tumor in the small intestine and advised Jeff that surgery was needed to save his life.

An extensive 5 ½ hour surgery was performed to remove the gallbladder, small intestine and some of the liver. The tissue was then sent to Dr. Nagourney, and his team at Rational Therapeutics, for chemosensitivity testing (EVA-PCD®). The assay found that many of the standard chemotherapies would have been ineffective in killing Jeff’s cancer. However, the study showed that his tumor was very sensitive to epidermal growth factor inhibitors and combined with a mix of two additional chemotherapies the treatment, appeared to be very effective.

After recovering from surgery, Jeff began treatment with the three drug combination. His tumor marker levels decreased substantially and a PET scan showed “marked tumor regression,” which proved the treatment a success! “I am only a few months into treatment and the long-term outcome for me is unknown, but there is now some room for optimism,” said Jeff. “My health is improving and all signs are moving in the right direction.”

NOTE:  The above account was excerpted and summarized from

Stomach Cancer Cure Stories -Valerie
Gastric Cancer-Stage IV

After being treated for several months for a pinched nerve in my neck, I was admitted in October 2013, to the local hospital through the ER with a collapsed lung. I was then diagnosed with neuroendocrine gastrointestinal cancer, which had metastasized to my lung and bones. While I was delighted with the local oncologist assigned to my case, I was determined to secure a second opinion from a nearby cancer center, arguably the pre-eminent cancer center on the planet. Both oncologists concurred on the “standard” protocol, which was administered to me from November 2013 to February 2014.

I must admit that, considering the widely held prognosis by the hospital staff that I’d never leave the hospital, my oncologist’s decision to immediately begin that initial chemo regimen while I was still hospitalized surely saved my life – at that moment. An early PET scan indicated that the cancer was stable, but by July of 2014, another PET scan showed the cancer aggressively advancing.

My husband had learned of Rational Therapeutics through his work, not through the medical community. After doing some research, we brought pages from the RT website to follow-up appointments with both the cancer center oncologist and my local oncologist to ask their opinions.

The cancer center oncologist did not even bother to look at the printout but instantly dismissed Rational Therapeutics as a purveyor of snake oil, preying on the desperation of cancer patients in order to drain them financially. He stated categorically at that time that he had no further treatments or clinical trials to offer me, that I should go home and enjoy feeling OK and contact him once I felt sick.

Thankfully, my local oncologist was more aggressive and open-minded. He recognized what he called “good science” when he saw it. He was eager to try another protocol and agreed we should contact Rational Therapeutics to arrange for the assay first.

We had difficulty arranging for the biopsy at our local hospital and, after two weeks with no progress, we contacted Rational Therapeutics to express our frustration. Within 48 hours I had precertification for the procedure from our insurance carrier, plus the OR was booked along with a hospital bed.

I had the liver resection and Rational Therapeutics secured the tumor sample. (The surgeon, Dr. Sean Cao, was so exceptional in his technique that I managed to take the cross-country flight home without incident, only 30 hours after the procedure!)

Within a week, my local oncologist had the report from Rational Therapeutics, which identified two chemo agents, that we had not yet tried, as the most promising – and more effective than the two agents of the standard protocol that I had completed in February 2014. After the sixth cycle of this protocol, in late December 2014, I had a follow-up PET scan. I was given the best Christmas present – I was found to be clear of cancer

NOTE:  The above account was excerpted and summarized from

Additional Cancer Survivor Stories

For cancer survivor stores of people with other types of cancer see our Cancer Survivor Stories page