Governor Signs Bill To Help Cancer Patients - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Governor Signs Bill To Help Cancer Patients

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BOZEMAN - On Monday, Governor Bullock visited Bozeman Deaconess Hospital to sign a bill that requires insurance companies to provide coverage for patients participating in clinical trials.

Bozeman resident Brenden Steele was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in March of 2010.

"I figured it was a 6-month you do a little chemo," said Steele. "I thought I would do a little radiation, come out get checked out , but it turns out that's not so simple."

He was only expected to live for another 11 months. Brenden, his family and friends could not accept that. So, he decided to try a clinical trial which is a way for patients to access new treatments and contribute to medical research.

"The insurance said, 'Well wait a minute we can't support it if you're going to be doing your normal treatments if you go on a trial,'" said Steele.

Brenden wanted to help others so they didn't have the same troubles he did.
In March, the Montana State Legislature approved Senate Bill 55. The bill requires standard care for a cancer patient in a clinical trail be covered by their insurers.

Governor Steve Bullock said the bill is more than helping individuals, it's another step in the right direction to a great medical system in Montana.

"This is how medicine progresses is through these clinical trials," said Bullock. "To be able to do this in Montana shows we're progressing forward and changing the dynamics of treatment."

Senator Christine Kaufmann of Helena was the sponsor of the bill.

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