A Promising New Cancer Treatment | WYPR

A Promising New Cancer Treatment

Mar 13, 2017

Cancer cells

Cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can be harrowing, and the cancer often returns. But a new treatment has come into use: it harnesses the body’s own immune system to destroy cancer. So far, immunotherapy doesn’t work in most patients. But when it does, the results can seem miraculous. Cancer survivor Stephanie Joho had run out of treatment options when she discovered immunotherapy. She recalls a moment soon after she started treatment: “I sat at the dinner table and I remember crying. Because I looked at my parents and I said, ‘I’m hungry.’ I didn’t remember what that felt like. I hadn’t felt hunger in probably over a year.” She and Dr. Drew Pardoll, director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins, join us.

Dr. Drew Pardoll explains more about immunotherapy here

Stefanie Joho shares more details about her personal immunotherapy experience here

Correction: Stefanie Joho received immunotherapy infusions every other week, not bimonthly.