Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Ron’s Immunotherapy Story

Colorectal Cancer |  Diagnosed 2015

Immunotherapy definitely changed my life.

Ron’s Story

In 2015, Ron was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. He received traditional, but debilitating, chemotherapy treatment for nine months. He wasn’t able to eat or sleep, and his devastated wife, Maria, searched for other options. In 2016, after learning he carried a genetic mutation linked to Lynch syndrome, Ron began combination immunotherapy on a clinical trial at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He received a nivolumab (Opdivo), a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, and ipilimumab (Yervoy), a CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitor. After the trial ended, Ron continued to receive the nivo/ipi combination treatment as part of routine care and was able to continue his life with no evidence of progression for two years.

“I am able to live on immunotherapy,” Ron explained.

UPDATE: Ron passed away in December 2018. His family feels grateful for the additional time and quality of life that immunotherapy provided Ron and hope that someday immunotherapy is considered a first-line therapy for more types of cancer.

Maria McDermott, Caregiver: That was part of the excitement of doing a clinical trial--knowing that what you were going through could help somebody else.

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