Former President Jimmy Carter’s Announcement that He is Cancer Free Sparks Interest in Cancer Immunotherapy
In August, former president Carter announced that he had been diagnosed with advanced melanoma that had begun in his liver and spread to his brain. Besides surgery on the liver and radiation to the brain, he also received a new immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab.
Now, Mr. Carter has announced that after several months of treatment, he has no evidence of cancer. The immunotherapy that Mr. Carter received has been hailed as one of the “greatest” advances in cancer treatment. Other similar cancer immunotherapies, such as Nivolumab, has been quickly gaining further FDA approvals beyond melanoma, to include Non small cell lung cancer and just a few weeks ago, kidney cancer.
Though the new immunotherapies show great promise in the treatment of many cancer types, one concern has been the cost of immunotherapy. The average cost for using these drugs in combination at a standard dose is about $300,000 per year. And the higher doses being used in the current research mean that figure could climb to $1 million annually. At the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, Leonard Saltz, MD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said the total cost to treat all metastatic cancer patients in the United States would be an “unsustainable” $174 billion per year. Other issues are that these drugs can potentially provoke an autoimmune disease response; by taking off the brake, the immune system can go into overdrive and begin attacking normal cells.
Medical doctor, board-certified radiologist and researcher Jason Williams, MD, of Image Guided Cancer Specialist has suggested a new solution to reduce cost, increase effectiveness and improve access for patients, inject the immunotherapy drugs directly into the cancerous tumor and combine it with image-guided cryoablation. These new drugs show great promise, but we need to get them to more patients. Also, we need to be able to use these drugs in combination, to enhance the success rate. This all can be achieved by putting the therapy right where we need to change the immune response, which is directly into the tumor.
Image Guided Cancer Specialist is a medical group specializing in the treatment of cancer using the combinations of immunotherapy with image guided ablation. To learn more about immunotherapy and ablation visit www.cancerablation.com or call 844-359-4201.
- Contact Information
- Jason Williams, MD
- Director of Ablation and Immunotherapy
- Image Guided Cancer Specialist
- (1) 844-359-4201
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