Clinical trials mean $394 million boost to Nebraska’s economy, treatments for Nebraskans

By Julie Anderson Omaha World-Herald staff writer

At an earlier point in her life, Mary Illig helped conduct lung research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, including testing a potential new asthma drug now known as Singulair on samples of tissue.

So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer years later, she went ahead when her doctors asked whether she wanted to participate in a clinical trial. She received two estrogen-blocking drugs before undergoing a lumpectomy and radiation. She’s now cancer-free and still being followed through the trial.

“I can’t say enough about the experience and how important it is,” said Illig, now chief technical officer at Paynetworx in Omaha.