Jimmy Carter No Longer Needs Cancer Treatments Thanks To Promising Immunotherapy Drug

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter broke the news that he no longer needs treatment for his melanoma, which had spread to his liver and brain, during his Sunday school class this morning at Maranatha Baptist Church. The 91-year-old former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner claims that a promising new immunotherapy drug, radiation therapy, and a surgery that removed a portion of his liver have seemingly worked and that his doctors say he no longer needs treatment for his cancer.

AJC reports that former president Jimmy Carter broke the news that he no longer needs cancer treatments to his Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church this morning. The Nobel Peace Prize winner told the class that doctors feel he no longer needs treatment and that they will simply continue to monitor the situation but that he is currently cancer-free. Carter thanked a promising new immunotherapy drug along with traditional radiation therapy for his miraculous recovery.

The Carter Center director of communications, Deanna Congileo, revealed that Jimmy Carter had received a promising new immunotherapy drug, pembrolizumab. The drug, according to Reuters, is designed to harness the power of the body’s immune system to combat the cancer. The drug that Carter was taking is a product by Merck that is sold under the brand name Keytruda. However, Congileo notes that Carter will no longer need any treatments, but will continue regular scans.

“President Carter said he did not need any more treatments, which he had August 2015 through February 2016, but will continue scans and resume treatment if necessary.”

This isn’t the first time that Jimmy Carter has informed his church congregation of good news regarding his cancer diagnosis. The former president was diagnosed with melanoma and informed that it had spread to his liver and brain. However, following the diagnosis, Carter began radiation treatments along with the immunotherapy drug. He also had a portion of his liver surgically removed that was determined to have cancer lesions. In December, Carter told his church to resounding applause that he was “cancer-free” but continuing to take the immunotherapy treatments to ensure the cancer was gone.

“My doctors tell me, by the way, that the treatment I’m getting is making the cancer disappear in my liver and my brain.”

The diagnosis from December seemed to stick, and Carter was informed his cancer was gone and that he would no longer need cancer treatments which he promptly shared with his Sunday school class this morning on the topic of humility. In fact, it is noted that people from around the United States come to the Plains, Georgia, church to hear Carter speak when he is noted on the schedule. This morning was no different. Robert Johnson was one of those individuals. Johnson said this is the first time he has made the trek to Georgia to hear the former president speak and that he didn’t disappoint.

“Everybody was very happy and grateful to hear it. And then he went into the lesson for today, which was humility. He did a really good job on that.”

Though Jimmy Carter has seen almost unbelievably good success from the immunotherapy cancer treatment drugs, Dr. Marc Ernstoff, director of the melanoma program at the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute in Ohio, tells Reuters that the treatment isn’t a standalone option. He notes that roughly 30 percent of patients see shrinkage of cancer using the drugs, while only 5 percent experience complete remission like Carter.

What do you think of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s big reveal that he is now “cancer-free” and no longer needs any form of cancer treatment?

[Image via ALP/MediaPunch/AP Photo]