Keytruda cures Jimmy Carter’s metastatic melanoma

Jimmy Carter, America’s 39th president, announced in the summer of 2015 that he had been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. At the time of his diagnosis, the disease had already spread to his liver and brain. Incredibly, a new immunotherapy drug saved his life.

Jimmy Carter KeytrudaCarter’s treatment plan included stereotactic radiation therapy, surgery and immunotherapy.

The stereotactic radiotherapy, which is a highly targeted form of radiation. This type of treatment  was used for Carter's 4 small brain lesions, while surgery was performed to remove an affected part of the liver.

In addition to these rather conventional cancer treatments, Carter’s doctors have prescribed a relatively new drug called Keytruda (also known as pembrolizumab). This is an immunotherapy drug, which activates the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer in its smallest and undetectable form.

Keytruda has been proven to prolong the life of melanoma patients in many clinical studies. In fact, Jimmy Carter is one of the few metatsatic melanoma patients (5%) to achieve a full remission. His recent MRI scan found no signs of the 4 previously seen brain lesions or any new tumors. Carter will now continue to receive regular doses of pembrolizumab, as well as undergo regular scans and check-ups.

Scientists are working relentlessly on new immunotherapy drugs and on new uses for existing drugs. For example, Keytruda has recently been approved by the FDA for treatment of certain lung cancer types.

HMC’s oncologists apply the latest and most advanced cancer treatment methods. The therapy plan is individual and structured according to the results of a thorough diagnosis process, among a list of other factors - all of which ensure an optimal outcome.

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