COMMACK, N.Y. (CBS) Glioblastoma is the deadliest form of brain cancer. Most patients survive about a year. But experimental treatments are helping some patients live longer, including one young father who's had promising results thanks to cutting edge treatments.
Chris Amundsen cherishes every moment as a new dad with his nine-month old daughter, Sarah.
We first met Amundsen and his wife Laura three years ago, when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma. Average survival is just 15 months for the aggressive brain cancer -- a prognosis the couple refused to accept. "You just can't listen if someone tells you there is nothing you can do," Laura said.
So Amundsen enrolled in a clinical trial at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City under Doctor John Boockvar. High doses of chemotherapy were delivered to his tumor in a new way -- through the artery instead of the vein. The tumor disappeared until a few months ago when the 40 year-old had a seizure. "I knew what was happening," Amundsen said.
His tumor was back and now he's in a new study, using a similar approach, this time, targeting genetic mutations in the tumor with a different drug.
"Through a microcatheter that is basically sitting on the doorstep of his tumor, we are opening the door and spraying his tumor with high doses of this drug and we are also providing radiation to this at the same time," Dr. Boockvar said.
Only five percent of patients with gliobastoma live for five years, but Doctor Boockvar says those numbers are increasing. "My goal for someone like Chris -- let's get you to five years, because five years from now who knows what we are going to advance with," he said.
After two treatments, Amundsen's tumor is shrinking again.
This weekend he is celebrating his first Father's Day, and the chance to keep fighting.
"Our goals are to live our life in a normal way, because we know he is going to survive this," Laura said.