Jimmy Carter: Cancer

Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2015 05:50 pm
Jimmy is the best ex-president I could name, for his tireless work for humanity. He was a much better president than we gave him credit for. We didn't have near the mess we have now, under him.
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Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2015 05:52 pm
Statement from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week.
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Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2015 06:32 pm
I agree with you.
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Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2015 05:05 am
He's what 91? Had to die of something.
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Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2017 06:01 pm
Jimmy Carter's Doctors Find No Evidence of Cancer After Breakthrough Treatment
Mar 7, 2016, 2:57 PM ET

Jimmy Carter's Doctors Find No Evidence of Cancer After Breakthrough Treatment
Mar 7, 2016, 2:57 PM ET

WATCH: Former President Jimmy Carter announced this weekend that his doctors have said he no longer needs cancer treatment thanks in part to a groundbreaking new kind of medication that trains the immune system to fight cancer tumors.
Just months after finding out he had metastatic cancer, former President Jimmy Carter announced this weekend that his doctors have said he no longer needs cancer treatment thanks in part to a groundbreaking new kind of medication that trains the immune system to fight cancer tumors.

Carter announced in August that he had melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain. He underwent surgery, radiation therapy and a new kind of cancer treatment called immunotherapy to fight the disease.

Speaking at his church this weekend, Carter announced that his doctors are stopping his immunotherapy treatment called pembrolizumab after they saw no signs of tumors over a period of three months. While he has no evidence of the disease, doctors will monitor Carter closely to see if the cancer reoccurs, a representative for the former president said.

"President Carter said today he did not need any more treatments, which he had August 2015 through February 2016, but will continue scans and resume treatment if necessary," a spokeswoman for the Carter Center told ABC News in an email.

Carter's remarkable outlook is likely due in large part to the drug pembrolizumab, a drug that targets cancer by ramping up the body's immune system, experts said. The treatment was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011.

The drug works as a "checkpoint inhibitor," altering certain pathways in the immune system so that the antibodies can identify and fight any tumors in the body the way they might fight a virus or cold, experts said. The medication is much less toxic than chemotherapy, but it can react in colon, liver or lung inflammation, according to published studies. Researchers are still trying to determine how long the medication can prompt the immune system to keep fighting. This drug is mainly given to melanoma patients.

Dr. Andrew Sloan, director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said scientist have only recently understood how “tumors recruit the immune system.”

“Tumors have figured out how to turn off the immune system,” Sloan said in an interview with ABC News when Carter first announced his diagnosis. “They recruit cells that surround them. ... These are not cells that kill the tumor. They protect cells from part of the immune system.”

Drugs like pembrolizumab work by keeping the immune system from turning off. Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said such therapies, first presented in 2010, were the first new drugs for melanoma since the 1970s.

“Five years ago,” Lictenfeld said, “we would not have much to offer the president.”

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Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2017 06:06 pm

John McCain’s Brain Cancer vs. Jimmy Carter’s: Why Is McCain’s Prognosis Worse?

Why is John McCain's brain cancer prognosis so much worse than Jimmy Carter's?
Senator John McCain’s treatment and prognosis appear much more dire than Jimmy Carter’s after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Why do things look so much tougher for McCain, who is 10 years younger than Carter when he was diagnosed with brain cancer at 90? The truth is that Carter’s chances of survival initially appeared very slim too. But thankfully for Carter, a new type of cancer treatment proved to be perfectly suited for the type of brain cancer that he had.

John McCain has glioblastoma (GBM.) This cancer is one of the most aggressive types. It’s highly malignant, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. The median survival rate is two to three years, but can be as short as 14 months. For people who are diagnosed with any cancer at the age 75 or older, the lowest survival rate is 4.7 percent. But with glioblastomas, children are given the same survival rate as older adults.

Jimmy Carter’s cancer wasn’t a walk in the park, however. Diagnosed at the age of 90, he had melanoma that had metastasized and spread to his liver and his brain. He had four spots of melanoma on his brain, with each lesion being no larger than 2 millimeters. The lesions were discovered when he underwent an operation to remove the tumor from his liver.

Until recently, the survival rates for someone whose melanoma had metastasized into their brain were only four to five months.

Jimmy Carter beat those odds, thanks to a newer drug called Keytruda (Pembrolizumab.) Now he’s cancer free, a result that was once almost unheard of in patients who had metastasized melanoma. The drug was part of Carter’s treatment regimen, which included targeted radiation to his brain. He’s not cured in the classic sense, since he continues to need infusions. But MRI scans show no signs of cancer.

Keytruda is one of a series of new immunotherapy drugs that target specific cancers and are showing incredibly promising results. Keytruda targets the PD-1 and PD-L genes, which play a role in tumor detection. Last year, a lung cancer study using Keytruda was stopped and all patients were given the drug because the results were at least as good as chemo, if not better.

Could Keytruda or another type of immunotherapy be used to treat John McCain? It is unclear, unless he gets into some type of clinical trial. Immunotherapy drugs are being tested on patients with glioblastoma, but it’s not known yet if any will be as successful. In August 2016, it was announced that early clinical trials involving Keytruda and glioblastoma, and Opdivo and glioblastoma, appeared promising. In April 2017, Science Daily reported that immunotherapy for glioblastoma was well tolerated and out of the 11 patients studied, four survived for more than five years. This study was focused on immunotherapies that targeted specific proteins on glioblastomas.

At this point in time, the traditional treatment for glioblastoma is chemotherapy and radiation. McCain’s cancer was discovered while he was having surgery to remove a blood clot on Friday. His doctor said that a pathologist was in the operating room during the procedure and all the worrisome tissue was removed. However, glioblastomas can recur and McCain will need followup treatment. Whether any of that treatment might include a new type of immunotherapy like Carter received, or if that kind of treatment is even currently available for his type of cancer, remains to be seen.

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