Ronald's Story (04:35)
Retired gastroenterologist Ronald Eckert had multiple tumors removed from his scalp; they eventually spread to his lungs and liver as stage 4 melanoma. In 2012, the prognosis was less than a year. Dr. Elizabeth Guancial explains how melanoma metastasizes.
Participating in Clinical Trials (06:24)
Learn about experimental therapy studies in oncology. Ronald discusses his decision to participate in a Phase 1 trial with PDL-1 inhibitors. His wife Donna reflects on providing emotional support.
Medical Innovations: LED Light Research (01:51)
Immunotherapy activates the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. Researchers are using LED light to help T cells genetically modified with light-sensing green algae molecules to "see" tumors.
Understanding Immunotherapy (04:50)
Ronald received a PDL-1 infusion during a clinical trial with no side effects. Guancial explains how program death receptor-1 helps immune cells recognize cancer cells. As we age, cancer cells devise ways to bypass the immune system and tumors develop.
Immunotherapy Success (02:50)
Within a few months of infusions, Ronald's metastatic melanoma tumors had disappeared; he has been cancer-free for four years. PDL-1 inhibitors have been approved.
Immunotherapy Indications (02:58)
Once drugs are FDA approved, they are available nationally. Immune therapy may soon be used for non-metastatic cancers and other diseases. Ronald is glad he decided to participate in a clinical trial.
Advice for Advanced Cancer Patients (01:13)
Ronald recommends seeing oncologists that are up-to-date with the latest treatments and seeking second opinions.
Credits: Immunotherapy—Second Opinion (01:17)
Credits: Immunotherapy—Second Opinion
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