Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog




Rick’s Immunotherapy Story

Kidney Cancer |  Diagnosed 2016

They use the term ‘super-responder,’ I like to think of myself as super-cured.”

Rick ‘s Story

In 2015, Rick saw his doctor with a bad cough. Months later his wife, Dixie, discovered a lump on his chest. After a biopsy and an initial misdiagnosis of breast cancer, Rick went to MD Anderson Cancer Center for a second opinion. In 2016, weak and hardly able to lift his two-year-old grandson, Rick learned he had stage 4 kidney cancer. Dixie and their daughter, Katie, advocated for Rick to enroll in a clinical trial, combining immunotherapy drugs nivolumab (Opdivo®) and bevacizumab (Avastin®). After Rick’s third infusion, CT scans showed “dramatic results—the chest tumor had shrunk by 40% and the liver tumor by 25%.” Rick sees his doctor for scans every four months and has not received any cancer treatment for the past 18 months. He is grateful to have his life back, to return to full-time work as an engineer, and to be “pop-pop” to his three grandchildren.

UPDATE: Rick passed away on March 11, 2020, from a brain tumor. His wife, Dixie, shared with CRI, “We are so grateful that immunotherapy and the clinical trial at MD Anderson gave Rick four amazing additional years. We had three grandchildren born during that time; one on an infusion day.” In addition to being a loving father and grandfather, Rick was very involved in his community, dedicating time to mentor many young engineers. Dixie feels passionate about cancer patient advocacy and hopes that Rick’s message will continue to inspire hope.

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