WESTWOOD, Kan. — New drugs are unleashing the body’s immune system to fight cancer. A new study finds immunotherapy helps some people with advanced melanoma survive at least five years.
It appears that Peg Hardy is getting chemotherapy at K.U. Cancer Center. Far from it. The drip is immunotherapy. The 89-year-old great-grandmother has had no hair loss or nausea.
“I’ve had no reaction. It hasn’t stopped me. I’ve traveled,” said Hardy.
She’s remained active while fighting advanced melanoma, a skin cancer that usually shows up as an irregular mole. In Hardy’s case, melanoma was only found after it got into breast tissue.
The drug, Keytruda, causes her immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign invaders.
“It trains the immune system to go and kill cancer cells, so it’s a different way to look at cancer treatment,” said Dr. Prakash Neupane, an oncologist at K.U. Cancer Center.
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