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Monday, May 27, 2024

Cancer doctor reveals remarkable results after undergoing own breakthrough treatment

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(The Independent) ; An Australian doctor has announced that he remained brain cancer-free a year after undergoing an experimental treatment based on his own research to save his life.

Richard Scolyer, 57, said he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June and knew that it meant he faced “certain death”.

Professor Scolyer underwent a world-first experimental treatment based on his research on melanoma in what could be a major breakthrough for patients with a subtype of glioblastoma.

On Tuesday, the pathologist said he underwent an MRI scan to check if his glioblastoma is recurring and found out there is “still no sign of recurrence”.

“I couldn’t be happier!!!!!” he said on X, formerly Twitter. “Thank you to the fabulous team looking after me so well, especially my wife Katie & wonderful family!”.

The world-leading melanoma pathologist was named “Australian of the Year” in 2024 along with his colleague, professor Georgina Long – a medical oncologist – for their life-saving work in the treatment of melanoma.

The two are co-directors at the Melanoma Institute Australia and have been hailed for their revolutionising treatment of the deadly skin cancer using immunotherapy which uses the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells.

Mr Scolyer was diagnosed with “the worst of the worst” type of brain cancer in June last year and decided to be the “guinea pig” for the immunotherapy treatment.

The research by Professor Long and their team of doctors being used on Professor Scolyer would undergo clinical trials for glioblastoma patients.

The team of doctors has started preparing the paperwork for the trials and the positive results of the trial are expected to shake up the current treatment of cancer which has remained unchanged for 19 years for millions of patients.

“Hopefully, it’ll transform into improved outcomes, not just for me, but for all brain cancer patients,” Mr Scolyer said.

Mr Scolyer became the first brain cancer patient to ever have combination, pre-surgery immunotherapy, the BBC reported. His cancer was targeted with the application of a combination immunotherapy 12 days before surgery. He then underwent surgery to remove the tumour and received radiation and chemotherapy.

He continued to receive immunotherapy and other personalised vaccines for his tumour.

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