Chemotherapy shortage affects mid-Missouri children

9 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
By: Shade Bullock, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer.

Vincristine, a type of chemotherapy used as treatment in most childhood cancers, is becoming scarce and there is no equivalent to the drug. 

The shortage comes after one of the two supply companies of vincristine discontinued the drug in July due to a business decision. Now the sole supplier, Pfizer, is having manufacturing troubles.

Lauren Brengarth, mother of 6-year-old Emma who has Ewing sarcoma, said she is frustrated. 

"To hear that a business decision is the reason why my daughter or any other child with cancer can't receive their chemotherapy is absolutely unacceptable and outrageous," she said.

Emma was diagnosed earlier this year in August on her first day of first grade. Her scheduled chemotherapy lasts until this spring. 

Brengarth said she believes all children should have access to their medicine.

"I think we need to look at this from a business perspective and politically to understand where are the gaps and how is this even possible that a child with cancer couldn't receive his or her chemotherapy as prescribed when it is available," she said.

Emma is on schedule to receive her vincristine in early November. Brengarth said she hopes it does not get delayed. 

Lauren Karr, mother of 3-year-old Beckett who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), said she is worried her son won't receive his regular dosage this month. 

"In two weeks I may go all the way to Kansas City for his treatment and he may only get half of it," she said. 

Beckett was diagnosed with ALL in August of 2018. He has a mutation which causes the cancer to be more likely to come back, because of this he was invited into a clinical trial. After year of weekly hospital visits, Beckett is now in maintenance where he goes once a month to receive treatment. Vincristine is one of the drugs he receives monthly. 

"It terrifies me to think that at some point if he doesn't get this drug, the trial will be useless," Karr said.

Karr said the shortage has caused more stress and less sleep for her family.

"It's just that extra anxiety as a parent every night going to bed knowing there's this drug out there and it is helping your kiddo, but he can't get it," she said.

Karr said it could be until December until her son gets his vincristine. 

MU Health Care Women and Children's Hospital is one Mid-Missouri hospital being affected by the shortage. In a statement to KOMU 8 News it said, "We are actively evaluating short- and long-term strategies so we can continue to provide exceptional care to our patients should the shortage continue beyond our current expectation."
 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — A home invasion in north Columbia sent one woman to the hospital early Tuesday morning. CPD Detective... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 6:21:00 AM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia's Board of Education voted Monday night to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year. ... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 9:36:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a White House press conference on Monday after shots were fired outside... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 6:06:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia - Watch live as the Board of Education considers three different proposals from the school district for the start... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The National Weather Service issued a flash flooding warning for Boone County as heavy rains continue until 9:45... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:11:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One person is suffering life-threatening injuries after a crash on I-70 on Monday. The crash occurred around... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson expanded his special session to include a new provision regarding the backlog of murder... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:32:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —It's not a surprise that back to school preparations might look different this year. For some teachers, this... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:28:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Commissioners of the power 5 conferences, (The ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) met Sunday to discuss potential... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two people in suspected connection with a Sunday night burglary. Columbia police responded to a... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:07:17 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's public health staff have a plan for contact tracing in the upcoming school year According... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:43:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services issued licenses to four new medical marijuana facilities. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:41:31 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Ferguson, MO (KMOV) -- Sunday marks six years since 18-year-old Micheal Brown was killed in Ferguson. His death not only... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:28:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A 34-year-old man who police say held his 11-month-old son hostage while standing on a Missouri... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:23:36 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 12:22:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Lebanon's government stepped down on Monday night, less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 11:56:00 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Michelle Obama recently revealed that because of the pandemic and racial injustice in the US, she has been... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 10:15:14 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
PITTSBURGH — Major League Baseball has postponed scheduled games between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates after... More >>
3 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 10:02:00 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
7am 70°
8am 74°
9am 77°
10am 80°