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Ralph's Recovery from Prostate Cancer


In 2009 Ralph Stuart received a confirmed diagnosis of prostate cancer. He was 75 years old at the time and also had Alzheimer's disease. Because his cancer was growing slowly and he was older, doctors didn't do much at the time.

However, after 4 years, his cancer started progressing with speed. He and his wife discussed his case with many cancer experts. Finally, they met Dr. Akash Patnaik, a renowned national authority on prostate cancer.

By that time, Ralph's cancer had already grown significantly and reached stage 4. It had expanded to other parts of the body and became extremely difficult to control. FDA-approved traditional methods and treatments were no longer effective for him.

Ralph Stuart beats prostate cancer with immunotherapy
Source: YouTube Video screen capture

Immunotherapy Clinical Trial with a Promising Approach

With no standard therapies left as an option, Dr. Patnaik suggested the family consider enrolling Ralph in an immunotherapy clinical trial.

This promising new approach is aimed at enabling a patient's T cells to become an efficient weapon in fighting off cancer. So, unlike chemotherapy, which can be toxic to cells that are healthy, this approach improves the immune system so the body can mount its own defense. The drugs involved in this immunotherapy are called checkpoint inhibitors.

Dr. Patnaik was leading the second phase of a clinical trial, called CheckMate 650, for prostate cancer in men. He enrolled Ralph in this clinical trial which used a combination of two drugs – ipilimumab, and nivolumab that boost the immune system.

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"In particular, the responses to checkpoint inhibitors in advanced prostate cancer have been few and far between," Patnaik said.

This Approach Worked

This new approach showed positive results for Ralph. As he started getting the infusions of the drugs, his cancer started backing down. His only side effect was a persistent itch, but an ointment helped him get through it.

Video source: UChicagoMedicing.org

His PSA level, a disease severity measurement, which was over 500 when his trial started, began to plummet. By the time Ralph received his last infusion of the drugs, his PSA level had gone way down.

Ralph is in recovery now. His PSA levels are now about .04 – virtually undetectable – and staying down. Ralph and his wife are thankful to Dr.Patnaik and his efforts for getting him into the immunotherapy clinical trial that ultimately helped him recover when all other options ran out.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.