Immune Therapy Showing Promising Results

John Randall was on his way to his family doctor for a routine appointment when his wife casually suggested he get the mole on his back checked out. He was 48 years old at the time. The results would change his life forever.
 
A biopsy revealed John had melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. He was immediately referred to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “I couldn’t believe this was happening,” recalls John. “I felt fine.” 
 
An operation successfully removed the cancer and John was instructed to have CT scans every 6 months. “They said if the cancer was going to come back, it would likely come back within 1 ½ years,” recalls John who breathed a sigh of relief when the date came and went. Unfortunately, after 3 ½ years of clean scans the cancer reappeared as a lump under his right arm and had spread to his pancreas and liver. “It was quite significant and growing fast,” says John.
 
John was referred to an immune therapy clinical trial led by Dr. Marcus Butler. “There wasn’t really any other option,” says John who travels from his home north of Peterborough every three weeks for the innovative therapy involving intravenous injection. “I thought, what do I have to lose?” John also wanted to help others. “If this clinical trial gives researchers enough information to help other people, I’m all for it,” he says.

John’s tumours shrunk by about 50% after just 3 months. “The two tumours on my liver are small enough to be scar tissue now,” says John who has been participating in the clinical trial for almost 2 years with minimal side effects. 
 
“I feel great,” says John. “I might not be here right now if it wasn’t for this clinical trial.”
 
John is back to enjoying life with his family and is grateful to supporters of The Princess Margaret for making world-leading research possible. “If it wasn’t for research like this, there wouldn’t be as many people living today,” says John. “You never know who is going to benefit – it could help your neighbour down the road or even a family member one day.”