A 49-year-old grandfather in Southern California says a new drug has cured him of lymphoma after a long battle with the disease.
The newly approved drug was recently cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, he said. ABC 7.
Juan Ye, a self-proclaimed survivor, said before the drug was diagnosed his cancer – follicular lymphoma, the most common type of low-grade Hodgkin’s lymphoma – came back for a third time. He was told that he would have to go through chemotherapy again, but he refused and asked the doctor how long he had to live.
“‘You may have a year, we don’t know,'” he was told by the doctors. “My wife didn’t even know I had cancer again, I didn’t tell anyone.”
Mr. Yee went to see Dr. Elizabeth Bude, a hematological oncologist, who said that the cancer would not go away with chemotherapy and that even if it went down, it would come back.
At the time, Dr. Bude was the principal investigator for a new treatment called T-cell engagement.
She is the new medicine. Mosuntuzumab, brand name LunsumioIt puts “a pair of glasses” on the body’s dysfunctional T-cells that allow them to better distinguish the body’s lymphoma cells from cancer.
Mr. Yee said that the drug has fewer side effects, especially compared to chemotherapy.
He “didn’t feel anything” and the swelling in the lymph nodes quickly subsided.
Mr. Yee was part of the drug’s trial phase, which led to the FDA’s accelerated approval to market the drug to cancer patients who had previously undergone two rounds of treatment.
Dr. Bude said the drug is currently being tested as a first-line treatment, and researchers “have every reason to believe this will be a better treatment.”
Mr Yee is grateful the drug came along – it not only saved his life but also allowed him to see the birth of his first grandchild.
“If I had given up, I wouldn’t have had the chance to see my grandson,” he told ABC 7.