Doctor discusses drug used to treat Jimmy Carter

Dr. Richard Frank says the drug is making revolutionary strides in fighting cancer.

Dr. Richard Frank says the drug is making revolutionary strides in fighting cancer. (12/7/15)

NORWALK - Former President Jimmy Carter says a recent brain scan showed no signs of cancer while he is being treated with a drug called Keytruda.

Dr. Richard Frank, of the Western Connecticut Health Network, says the drug - which is approved to treat melanoma and kidney and lung cancers - is making revolutionary strides in fighting the disease.

Frank says one-third of his patients, including those with stage 4 melanoma, are seeing impressive results. The treatment involves revving up the body's own ability to fight cancer.

Certain cancer cells have a protein called PD1 that shuts down the immune cells that try to attack a tumor, Frank says. Drugs like Keytura or Pembrolizenmab used in President Carter's treatment for melanoma are called anti-PD1 drugs and involve hourly infusions every two to three weeks.

Frank says that unlike chemotherapy, the anti-PD1 drugs have minimal side effects and do not result in hair loss or nausea.

The drug has not proven effective to treat all forms of cancer, and Frank says that certain patients like those with autoimmune diseases may not benefit from that course of therapy.

More on this topic

Health Report

Dr Richard Frank, MD
Jennifer Long , APRN, Manager Oncology Research

Norwalk Hospital

Call : (203) 852-2148

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

News 12 asked viewers what they thought of 1 Connecticut Talks Trump: First 100 Days
Doctors say the recent spring weather has caused 2 Warm weather causes trouble for asthma patients
Connecticut Traffic Advisory for 4/28 3 Connecticut Traffic Advisory for 4/28
Suchada Palmer, a personal chef and culinary instructor, 4 Chef's Quick Tip: Papaya Salad
Police said they received multiple reports of the 5 Police search Greenwich for armed robbery suspect

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Focus on Connecticut Focus on Connecticut

Features local, state and federal officials discussing the issues around southwestern Connecticut.

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut. Our Lives

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut.

Each week News 12 Connecticut introduces you to Hometown Hero

News 12 highlights people who give to the community.

We spotlight a local team each week. Connecticut Team of the Week

Each week News 12 Connecticut highlights a team from a local school.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE