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Jimmy Carter Cancer Update: A Closer Look On The Former US President's Regimen To Fight Disease

Update Date: Dec 16, 2015 09:45 AM EST

Cancer evokes terrifying images of pain, suffering and ultimately, death. Even as medical science continues to advance in great leaps and bounds, functional cures for many life-threatening diseases remain challenging and elusive for scientists.

According to Motley Fool, cancer is the second-leading cause of American deaths. So when the news of former US President Jimmy Carter surviving his cancer ordeal came out, it raised hopes that someday cure would finally arrive.

In his 'cancer-free' public announcement, the 91-year old Carter credited 'Keytruda' for his amazing recovery from melanoma cancer. The so-called 'miracle drug' allowed the frail but socially active Carter to continue his meaningful socio-civic pursuits.

Keytruda belongs to a new generation of cancer treatment drugs categorized as immune therapies. Compared to other forms of treatments with multiple and often destructive side effects, immune therapies harness the power of immune system to fight off cancer cells and shrink tumors.

"So many cancer treatments can be effective in the short-term, causing tumors to shrink...immune therapy, in at least a subset of patients, has truly long-lasting responses" said Dr. Douglas Johnson of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as quoted saying by ABC News.

It's not just Jimmy Carter who appreciates the wonders that the new drug can do.

"My hair is back and I am fat and happy. There needs to be a category of cancer patients like me. I am not cancer-free but I am surviving with it and basically doing well," said Kathy Thomas of Torrance, California, who confirmed a similar positive experience when she began getting Keytruda treatment since 2012 as mentioned by NBC News.

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