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CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances among first to test new cancer drug

CHRISTUS is the first hospital in the world to test a new cancer drug called Naldemedine.

TYLER, Texas — Recently, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances opened up the Louise-Herrington Cancer Center at the Bradley-Thompson Tower in Tyler. The opening made way for CHRISTUS to be the first hospital in the world to test a new cancer drug called Naldemedine.

RELATED: CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances unveils new cancer center

"The purpose of this study is to find out in patients undergoing operations for cancer in the intestine, where you take out a portion of the intestine, and then sew it back together, if this drug will make their gut function more rapidly," said Chief of Surgical Oncology Dr. Steven Curley said.

The hope is patients will be able eat and use the bathroom sooner after operations, and be able to leave the hospital faster.

Dr. Curley says without the new cancer center, CHRISTUS wouldn't have been chosen to be the first hospital to conduct this trial. 

"It was a commitment from CHRISTUS and from the cancer program, to really hire the staff, to put the data managers, the people in place that allows to do this type of world class research," he said.

The trial is being run as a double-blind trial, which means not the doctors nor the patients know how much of the treatment they are getting, or if they are receiving a placebo.

RELATED: CHRISTUS Mother Frances to open new Bradley-Thompson Tower on Saturday

It will still take some time to see results from this trial. Just to get to phase three alone, has taken years.

"This will take about 18 to 24 months to complete the trial and then we will continue to follow the patients for up to a year after that," Curley said. "So overall, nationally, it's going to take about three years to complete."

Bradley-Thompson Tower is the largest emergency room in Tyler.