Every now and then, we find a story that gives us hope – not only for the direction medical science can take us, but for the families of patients with terminal diseases. So it is our great pleasure to announce that former President Jimmy Carter is cancer free thanks to a new drug. In early December, he announced to his Sunday school class at his church that doctors did not find any cancer at all during his last visit.
Advanced cancer responds to new drug
Carter suffers from stage 4 melanoma. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanoma can also form in your eyes and, rarely, in internal organs, such as your intestines.” The advanced stage of Carter’s melanoma means that cancerous cells have spread throughout his entire body.
The former President believes his remission is directly linked to a new cancer drug called Keytruda. The drug, generically known as pembrolizumab, uses a different approach to fighting cancer. While most drugs on the market work to boost and support the immune system, Keytruda disrupts a tumor’s ability to hide from the immune system, letting the body’s natural defenses work to shrink tumors in combination with other therapies like radiation.
According to a recent report by NBC News, “…cancer experts note that it’s not at all clear that the drug itself is what shrank Carter’s tumors. The former president was also treated with radiation to his brain and had a large tumor on his liver removed.” However, the success rate of advanced cancer treatment with Keytruda is undeniable.
Hope for advanced cancer sufferers
The success rate of Keytruda is so great that the Food and Drug Administration gave it accelerated approval in 2014. The FDA based the accelerated approval on a study led by Dr. Antoni Ribas of the University of California Los Angeles. The clinical trial found that Keytruda shrunk tumors for over 70% of patients, and the effects continued even after the drug was no longer being administered.
While the cure for cancer remains elusive, treatment is making huge strides. Keytruda is just one of them; teams of researchers around the world are responsible for making people healthier than ever. We at Crandall & Pera Law support the efforts of everyone who works to improve the quality of life. To learn more, contact us today to speak with dedicated injury lawyers serving Ohio and Kentucky.