- By Dennis Douda
Melanoma Researcher says Odds Continually Improving for Patients
The nation is buzzing this week over what sounds like miraculous news for former President Jimmy Carter. The 91-year-old Carter announced he is cancer-free, just months after revealing he was battling malignant melanoma, which had spread. In August, he had a cancerous mass removed from his liver. Four lesions were then found on his brain and were treated with radiation. Additionally, Mr. Carter was given a relatively new immunotherapy drug, called pembrolizumab.
"Fundamentally, in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, it's a three-pronged attack," says Mayo Clinic Cancer Center oncologist and hematologist, Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Markovic says combinations of immunologic treatments that use the body's own disease-fighting abilities, targeted therapies that focus on the genetic makeup of specific tumors and conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy have given patients much more reason to be hopeful. "One is hard-pressed to find another example, in all of medicine, where there has been such a tremendous revolution in the success of therapy, as [there] has been in melanoma."
Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Markovic are available in the downloads.