Clemma Adele Hewitt, 53, the first person to receive an unproven gene therapy approved by the federal government on a "compassionate use" basis. Hewitt began receiving the experimental treatment in January after it was determined that conventional methods of treating her cancer had failed and that she had no other options available. Officials at the National Institutes of Health waived the usual reviews for the new medical treatment for her only. Halfway through the treatments, her physician said he believed the novel therapy was helping to stop the tumor's growth. In La Mesa, Calif., on Wednesday of brain cancer.