I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2011, which advanced to Stage IV in June 2012.
With good luck and timing, I was accepted into a immunotherapy trial at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, with adoptive cell therapy (ACT) using tumor-infiltrating lympocytes (TIL).
Pioneered by my primary research doctor, Dr. Steven Rosenberg, this therapy harneses a patient’s immune system to fight their cancer. I’m one of the lucky 30% of patients who are considered complete responders to the treatment.
As of October 2017 (five years post-treatment), there continues to be no evidence of disease (NED).
Am I cured? I sure hope so, but, by hiding in a dormant state in the body, melanoma is a sneaky bastard and, so, I always remain vigilant.