A grandfather with a tennis ball-sized tumor whose cancer has spread throughout the organs made a shocking recovery after the doctors exposed him to a groundbreaking immunotherapy drug.
77-year-old Donald Cheetham from Worcestershire, UK, had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma that had spread to his brain, lungs, liver, spleen, bones, lymph nodes, and skin. The doctors also discovered tennis ball-sized tumors in the man’s body and warned him he didn’t have much time left.
While Mr. Cheetham was saying goodbyes to his family and friends, the doctors exposed him to a groundbreaking immunotherapy drug called Pembrolizumab.
After taking freshly-available medicine, the man began recovering at a rapid rate. Two years later, the scans revealed that the grandfather was cancer-free with tumors getting entirely eliminated from his body.
“To me, it is a miracle. I was being given palliative, end of life care and is supported by a hospice. I thought my time was up,” the retired director said.
“The immunotherapy treatment was relatively new and I was told it might or might not work, especially because cancer had spread to my brain.
“But after a few weeks, I suddenly felt like I had more energy and the scans showed the tumors were shrinking until they were gone.
“The doctors said they were not expecting such good results and I have to say I’m amazed to still be here. I didn’t spend one night in hospital and didn’t undergo any chemotherapy and I’ve been clear of cancer for almost a year. I consider myself extremely lucky.”
Mr. Cheetham, who is now cancer-free, finished his immunotherapy last year. The treatment is based on using the drug to reprogram one’s immune system into targeting cancerous cells without harming the healthy ones.
“Suddenly he began to improve, each day he became stronger and stronger, no one could believe the speed of the recovery,” Angie Crump, the senior man’s daughter, said.
“Doctors put the radiotherapy on hold to allow the progress of the immunotherapy to continue. And then scans began to show that the cancerous nodules on the brain were gone, and they were shrinking elsewhere too.”
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