Through his personal journey with Castleman disease, Dr. David Fajgenbaum shares how applying radical approaches to old problems can lead to breakthroughs, and how he’s revolutionizing the way medical research can be done.
8:30 AM - 9:30 AMFri
Dr. David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc
Castleman Disease Collaborative Network
Minnesota Medical Association
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As a twentysomething med student and former quarterback Dr. David Fajgenbaum started experiencing overwhelming fatigue and organ failure out of nowhere. It was no ordinary case: he was eventually diagnosed with Castleman disease, and doctors told him there was no approved treatment. After relapsing post-chemo, Fajgenbaum knew he would have to take finding a cure into his own hands. Collaborating with other patients and doctors, and through several more relapses, he eventually found a treatment that, though still tenuous, has worked for him. Throughout his incredible ordeal, Fajgenbaum learned that sometimes solutions are hiding in plain sight—this drug had actually been around for 25 years, just never tested for his disease—and that hope isn’t enough on its own: hope is only powerful when tied to action. He shares how applying radical approaches to old problems can lead to breakthroughs, and how he’s revolutionizing the way medical research can be done.