CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As doctors continue trials for innovative COVID-19 treatments, some at Roper St. Francis Healthcare say they are hopeful in expanding trials while early results show promise.
“Before it was sort of the wild west where you had to save lives with very little information and people were utilizing medications that had no proven value,” infectious disease physician Dr. Kent Stock said. “At least at this point in time, two months into the pandemic, at least regionally, we have a better sense of what may work and what does not appear to work.”
The hospital is currently conducting two official trials, one using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and the other administering a cancer drug, Selinexor, to combat the virus.
Stock says three patients have taken part in the drug trial.
“Each patient that has received the drug has actually been discharged from the hospital,” Stock said. “So if you look at outcome, at least we can say anecdotally that it seems to be at least not hindering their ability to recover from this infection and ultimately get well.”
He also says eight patients have received plasma transfusions.
“I feel very encouraged. Both studies that were currently enrolled in are basically addressing different phases of the infection in these individuals,” Stock said.
Allie Van Dyke with the Blood Connection says they have collected 270 units of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients over the past two months for future treatment.
“The good thing is is that we are in a place now where we have it on our shelves to give our hospitals,” Van Dyke said. “At the very beginning of this, it was we really need to get these plasma donors in the door so that we have enough for these hospitals and now we’re at a place where that is kind of evening itself out so that’s great.”
But work is still far from over as Stock says coronavirus patients are still walking through the doors, and the effectiveness of many treatments remain untested.
“We are seeing a steady number of new [COVID-19] admissions so it clearly has not left the Tri-County area,” Stock said.