Each week throughout Cancer Immunotherapy Month this June, we will introduce you to a patient who will tell their cancer story on video, from learning diagnosis to enrolling in clinical trials and receiving immunotherapy as treatment. We hope by sharing their stories that you or a loved one will become more informed about cancer immunotherapy and the patient experience.
One Day Immunotherapy May Be the Norm for Skin Cancer - Dale's Immunotherapy Story
Like many of us, Dale spent a lot of time in the sun and didn't think to protect his skin from harmful UV radiation. Years later, he developed scaly patches of actinic keratosis that later progressed to cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer. Surgeries, skin grafts, and chemotherapy failed to prevent Dale's tumors from spreading. Concerned about his future and having exhausted standard treatment options, Dale enrolled in a clinical trial testing a PD-1 blocking antibody called cemiplimab. Almost immediately his tumors began to disappear. Today, Dale has no evidence of cancer and is able to continue living his life with his wife, Donna, and his two children.
Choosing Hope Over Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Kristin's Immunotherapy Story
After intense chemotherapy that ultimately failed to keep Kristin's acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in remission, she enrolled in a phase one immunotherapy clinical trial of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy. Today, Kristin remains cancer free and is passionate about spreading her message of hope to others.
Finding Another Treatment Option for Stage IV Lung Cancer - K.C.'s Immunotherapy Story
K.C. was initially diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in 2015. After receiving chemotherapy and radiation, her healthcare team was not optimistic—her cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and progressed to stage 4. K.C. sought a second opinion in Houston and began treatment of nivolumab. She responded to the immunotherapy immediately, and her recent scans shows no evidence of disease. Today K.C. continues to work full-time and experiences new adventures with her two daughters, Avery and Anna, and her husband, Joey.
Changing My Life After Colorectal Cancer - Ron's Immunotherapy 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 a nivolumab/ipilimumab combination immunotherapy on a clinical trial at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Today, Ron continues to receive nivo/ipi as part of routine care and, for the past two years, has had no evidence of disease progression. “I am able to live on immunotherapy,” Ron explained.