"You'll never be too old to rock a stage."
In June 2015, Rikki visited his primary care doctor with a sore throat. His doctor found a small tumor at the base of his tongue, and Rikki learned he had human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oral cancer. He endured nine rounds of chemotherapy and 37 sessions of radiation therapy. The tumor initially responded, but returned three months later, spreading to his lymph nodes. Rikki then saw Dr. Ezra Cohen at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, who helped him enroll in a clinical trial of pembrolizumab (Keytruda®). Rikki’s tumor responded immediately. Just over two months into the trial, a scan revealed that his tumor had shrunk over 90%. Today Rikki is cancer-free, enjoys playing with his band, Poison, caring for his two children, and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
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