Meridian Patient Feedback Blog

Dr. Chang / General (Cancer, Fertility, MS Etc)

Posted on: October 12, 2008

My main area of focus is cancer/infertility and my main research interest is in off-label Drugs and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbs for cancer and fertility. I also treat Hepatitis B&C, Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS), Multiple Sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, and various complex medical cases with no obvious diagnosis or a multiplicity of diagnoses.  I welcome any sharings, comments, stories, complaints, or suggestions so that we may be do even more for our patients.

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5 Responses to "Dr. Chang / General (Cancer, Fertility, MS Etc)"

After having had Stage IV lymphoma, I became a patient advocate. I started referring cancer patients to Dr. Ray Chang four years ago. I immediately recognized some rare qualities in Dr. Chang. He is heroic in guiding patients through unconventional treatments; he thinks outside the box, and he constantly explores new alternative regimens which are safe and have efficacy. Just the other day he put one of my brain tumor patients on chloroquine, a malaria drug shown to be effective with glioblastoma. For one of my melanoma patients he added Avandia a diabetes medication found to inibit PPAR-gamma (involved in tumor angiogenesis). No matter what a patient comes in with, Dr. Chang helps them bravely face the future with hope. I have immeasurable confidence in Dr. Chang’s care for my patients.

I discovered that Dr. Chang is brilliant. Not just that he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University. He has an intelligence which is adaptive and survivalist, coping with any medical obstacles with confidence and creative energy. No matter how steep the disease slope may get, Dr. Chang digs in side-by-side with his patients and then commences the climb towards healing. I recently accompanied an endometrial cancer patient to see her oncologist at Sloan Kettering. When the oncologist heard that she was seeing Dr. Chang, he said: “Dr. Chang is outstanding, very smart. I would defer to Dr.Chang on any alternative therapies for you.” Incidentally, Dr. Chang was, for some years, head of acute care at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Most of oncology is characterized by surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Chang is in the avant-garde in employing immunotherapy, in priming the immune system to recognize and attack tumor cells. This is a complicated process involving the cultivation of a patient’s dendritic cells and reinfusing them to secure tumor antigens and present them to T cells to promote an immune response. Dr. Chang has made presentations at ASCO(American Society of Clinical Oncology) covering several dendritic cell vaccines for various cancers.

Dr. Chang may be embarrassed by my writing this because he is a private person. But Dr. Chang is deeply spiritual . He understands life process. He has much compassion for his patients. Dr. Chang brings heart and intelligence to his cancer patients as he accompanies them on their cancer journey.

It is an honor to know Dr. Chang, a heroic physician.

Wishing good health to all,

Ken Schueler

Patient Advocate

In March 2008 through a mutual friend I reconnected with a fellow Real Estate Broker/Manager who works in New Jersey and who I had worked with while a Manager/Regional Manager in the late 90’s. She IMMEDIATELY directed me to Dr. Raymond Chang. At this time she had been a patient (non-small cell lung cancer) of Dr. Chang for several months, and a believer in his approach to treating cancer. She also told me about Dendritic Cell Therapy early on although at this point she hadn’t had the treatment herself and that wouldn’t come until July 2008. I am heading to Germany for Dendritic Cell Therapy myself in January 2009.

Dr. Chang has been guiding my care ever since, with the express consent of Kristi (my wife and a doctor) as well as my brother Jay who is a very senior manager/auditor for the Comptroller of the Currency and who audits one of the largest banks in the world (he is skeptical by profession and happens to work primarily in New York City) who both accompanied me, along with a healthy dose of skepticism, on my very first appointment in March 2008. It took Kristi and Jay about 45 minutes into that first appointment to be receptive to Dr. Chang’s approach although for whatever reason I was a believer before I ever got to his office based on my conversations with my colleague. They didn’t even crack a smile or really ask a question of Dr. Chang for that first 45 minutes and I did most of the talking (we all listened intently) although Dr. Chang was really directing his comments to Kristi, a fellow medical professional. What broke the ice was a question about a drug that had been FDA approved for small-cell lung cancer (my initial diagnosis but subsequently classified as Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma – ACC) in the U.S. only two days prior and brought to my attention by a friend and colleague, Roger Farber. When I asked about the drug, manufactured by Celgene Dr. Chang immediately reached up on his bookshelf, pulled down a binder that said Celgene on the cover, opened without hesitation to a page with details on the drug and explained/showed to us that I would not be eligible for this particular chemo treatment because of the two heart surgeries (stents) I had placed in my left main artery (LAD) in 2007. That did it and my wife and brother were convinced that Dr. Chang could/would help me.

Dr. Chang knows most of what’s out there (he’s much more modest than this) when it comes to cancer and cancer treatments and if you know someone who wants to do EVERYTHING possible to stay alive and as healthy as possible during cancer treatments AND wants a doctor who will work with traditional Medical and Radiation Oncologists I would recommend making an appointment ASAP.

Dr. Chang’s approach is to wage guerilla warfare on cancer. If it won’t kill you why not try it? Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions.

A little history about me. On February 27, 2007 I had a CAT (CT) scan of my chest because I was having chronic chest pain and even though several previous chest X-rays and visits to my cardiologist didn’t pick anything up this CT showed several tumors in my body including one between my left lung and esophagus. Ultimately in the days following I had MANY more tests and a fine needle biopsy of one of the tumors in my left ribs and it was determined by the pathologist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, PA and confirmed by a pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania that I had small-cell lung cancer (the smoker’s cancer, even though I never smoked and in fact have been an adamant none smoker my entire life, There was skepticism from ALL of the doctors we met with but we had two pathology reports telling us that it was small-cell lung cancer.
I was given one year to live, based on statistics, by some of the doctors I saw but some said don’t read too much into this because I was generally healthy and should be able to get better results (live longer). Typically only 1% of patients with this cancer are alive at 5 years. I was determined to be one of these 1%. Of course that’s me!

Ultimately I failed the initial chemo treatment which surprised my doctors. During this time my sister-in-law, Pat Shand, connected with a member of her church in Falls Church, VA who has a son, Dr. Richard Gralla, who is the head of the Monter Cancer Center at Long Island Jewish Hospital in NY who specializes in treating non-smokers with lung cancer. After meeting with him and having the most thorough exam I have EVER had he told us that he did not believe that I had small-cell lung cancer. He recommended another biopsy of a tumor under my chin which was performed on July 2nd, 2008. He was right, I had Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) which is a REALLY rare form of glandular cancer that is typically very slow growing. Dr. Gralla also consulted with my medical oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Kenneth Algazy, and recommended treatment with Tarceva which is a chemotherapeutic drug taken orally with minimal side effects. Unfortunately I seemed to fail this drug too although the cancer wasn’t growing so fast.

In September we switched to a combination of chemo known as CAV which I feel darn near killed me but didn’t stop the cancer and during a 6 week period (while I was off most of the treatment Dr. Chang recommended) saw significant growth in some of the existing tumors and a few new ones. We stopped this treatment after two cycles and went back on Tarceva and the medicines/supplements which Dr. Chang had me on since March, 2008 and which I now take every day.

In addition to Dendritic Cell treatments which I will start at the end of January 2009 I am on two chemotherapy (oral regimens) and the side effect is peripheral neuropathy which can damage the nerves in your feet (I have this and it is why I move slow or awkwardly but this should go away some day) and the hands which I don’t have. I’m also on program known as Copper Chelating Therapy which, using pharmaceuticals, lowers the copper level in your body to about 20% of the normal level as the goal. The idea is that this will starve the blood supply to the tumors and cause them to commit suicide. This is based on a trial from the University of Michigan which Dr. Chang was able to coordinate for me. We are waging guerilla warfare on cancer after all.

In early December I had radiation to my left ribs to reduce the pain and my need for significant amounts of pain medication and the radiation worked quite well. However towards the end of this treatment I developed impaired vision in my left eye, ultimately losing 95% of the vision and all color. I started CyberKnife radiation (very precise) on December 23 and had a second treatment (ultimately 5 total treatments) and my doctor told me on the morning of December 24 that I may never regain the vision in the left eye. Probably the most challenging day I have had in my life. Well, miracles as a result of lots of prayers do work. On Christmas morning I woke up with 50% of the vision back and it has ultimately recovered to 95+%.

Even though I have cancer I consider myself to be TRULY blessed. I am more than willing to deal with cancer than have ANY child have to deal with this insidious disease. In fact I pray to Saint Padre’ Pio each night to “bring it on” as I can handle it and to ask Jesus to spare a child or children on my behalf from having to deal with cancer. I also pray to Pope John Paul, II to ask Jesus for a miracle and complete cure. JP2 4ME

Should I die from cancer prematurely I will know that I did EVERYTHING in my power to beat it and I’m sure my 3 small children will learn that too. I just happen to choose to live!!! You should too.

My name is Kim. I am a gardener. I was diagnosed with brain cancer, GBM 4 (glioblastoma multiforme), in December of 2007. My story was typical for this diagnosis, until I made contact with Dr. Chang. All of the comments that I have read in this forum ring true. I would add, that Dr. Chang has an amazing talent for connecting with the patient, and the accompanying family. He was able to shift from technical medical information, to personal conversation, and to connect it in a significant way. No question was treated as insignificant. I am now taking elements of a “cocktail” every day, with no ill effects. I am thankful for Dr. Chang’s innovative approach, vast knowledge, open mind, and positivity. I am back in the garden, thankful for each day.

I have been a patient of Dr. Chang’s since hearing his presentation at St. Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2002 where I was treated for breast cancer. His presentation about strengthening the immune system in facing cancer just made such good sense! My husband has been his patient for five years after treatment for base of tongue cancer.
We have absolute trust in Dr. Chang’s wise and thoughtful approach to both Western and alternative medicine. His explanations are clear and careful, and if you do not understand immediately, he takes the time to go further. We are deeply grateful to the good doctor for
his counsel and compassion.

Has Dr. Chang helped any patients with MS? I heard he has cured someone with MS. Can anyone share their experience with working with Dr. Chang on an MS condition.

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