When Maggi Sides was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her lymph nodes, she was referred to Donald Lawrence, MD, clinical director of the Center for Melanoma at Mass General. Shortly after meeting Dr. Lawrence, it was discovered that her melanoma had also spread to her lungs. After a traditional course of treatment proved unsuccessful, Dr. Lawrence enrolled Maggi in a clinical trial of a new immunotherapy drug, MDX 1106 (now also known as nivolumab). The tumors in Maggi’s lungs began to shrink immediately after the treatments began and, two years later, they have all but disappeared. Says Maggi, “Dr. Lawrence’s calm, unhurried, forthright and compassionate demeanor has and continues to play an immeasurable role in my continuing recovery.”
John Murphy, another patient, notes, “Dr. Lawrence is a dedicated melanoma specialist who has saved or prolonged uncounted lives. Five of us accidentally met in his waiting room at Yawkey 9, and had our picture taken with him. I am happy to say we are all now survivors and love him dearly.”
Patients and families are immediately comforted by Dr. Lawrence’s extensive knowledge and experience, coupled with his commitment to individualizing his approach and care for each patient. With the innate ability to reassure patients that they are not just a statistic, he offers options and clear explanations, creating space for hope.