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HBO cancer special has local connection

When cable network HBO airs a special report on experimental cancer treatments Friday, Pam Jones of Marion will be tuned in, looking for her brother.

Mike Connor of Lenexa is Jones’ oldest brother, and he was at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston when HBO came to film “Vice Special Report: Killing Cancer.” Connor has glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Cameras were filming as doctors performed surgery to inject into the tumor site a mutated virus, one tailored to kill cancer cells. HBO filmmakers also visited Connor’s home in Lenexa.

Many patients were filmed, so Jones doesn’t know how much air time, if any, her brother’s case will get. She said she doesn’t really care about that; she just hopes people will watch the special.

“I’d like for people who are dealing with cancer to find hope,” Jones said, “and the knowledge to go to doctors who are treating cancer patients.”

Connor’s condition hits particularly close to home for Jones, as their father died of glioblastoma when he was 46.

“We’re thankful that my brother has the opportunity to be part of MD Anderson’s clinical trial,” she said. “Our family prays every day that there’s a cure for glio tumors.”

The special will air at 9 p.m. Friday on HBO.

Last modified Feb. 26, 2015

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