• By Dennis Douda

Melanoma Researcher says Odds Continually Improving for Patients

December 8, 2015

illustration of cancer cells multiplying

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.