Charlotte Oncologist Dr. Justin Favaro Explains President Jimmy Carter's Cancer Treatment and Recent Immunotherapy Advancements

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Charlotte oncologist Dr. Justin Favaro notes that advances in immunotherapy are providing hope for patients, including former President Jimmy Carter, who recently announced that he is making very positive inroads in his fight with melanoma, following surgery, radiation and use of an innovative new immunotherapy drug.

Dr. Justin Favaro, Oncology Specialists of Charlotte

While it’s hard to say with certainty which of his three treatment interventions are most responsible for his current state, there is increasing evidence that immunotherapy is helping patients fight cancer.

Charlotte oncologist Dr. Justin Favaro cites former President Jimmy Carter's positive inroads in his fight with melanoma as an example of innovative immunotherapy drugs offering increasing hope for cancer patients. According to Associated Press The Big Story on November 10, 2015, President Carter's improvement follows surgery, radiation and use of an innovative new immunotherapy drug. President Carter was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 2015, which had spread quickly to his liver and brain.

“President Carter’s case is emblematic of the recent advances in immunotherapy treatment for cancer,” notes Justin P. Favaro, MD, PhD, of Oncology Specialists of Charlotte. “Just a short time ago, patients with melanoma and brain metastases had much shorter life expectancies.”

In addition to radiation and surgery, President Carter received a new immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), which helps the body’s immune system mount a stronger attack against cancer.

“While it’s hard to say with certainty which of his three treatment interventions are most responsible for his current state, there is increasing evidence that immunotherapy is helping patients fight cancer,” adds Dr. Favaro. “There’s always the perception that a devastating diagnosis means a much shortened lifespan and/or incapacitating treatment, but more and more that’s not the case.”

According to the American Cancer Society, immunotherapy stimulates the immune system to work harder in attacking cancer cells. Newer types of immune treatments currently being studied will impact how we treat cancer in the future.
 
About Oncology Specialists of Charlotte
Since 2000, Oncology Specialists of Charlotte has provided leading-edge, compassionate care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in both the clinic and hospital setting. Oncology Specialists of Charlotte’s physicians and staff take part in multi-disciplinary care, clinical trials, and peer boards at the hospital. The Oncology Specialists of Charlotte team understands the profound impact of cancer on the lives of patients and their families, and the practice maintains access to the latest, best treatment options. For more information, go to http://www.oncologycharlotte.com.

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Mark Harrison