News of the United States’ 39th President Jimmy Carter and his recent diagnosis of advanced melanoma[1] has left many of us introspective. We are taking time to reflect on the epidemic that is cancer, which affects the famous and the not-so-famous indiscriminately and all too often. Many of us are also assured that Former President Carter will approach his diagnosis with the same gumption and positivity that helped serve as the foundation of his legacy and contributions to society.

Since 2011, we’ve been fighting alongside many other brave scientists to find safer and more effective treatments for melanoma, which is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the United States. Former President Carter seems to be undergoing the latest treatment through a highly targeted form of radiation accompanied by an immunotherapy drug (Keytruda) that has helped melanoma patients extend the years of their lives.[2]

Medical innovation is an arduous battle, and rightfully so, as each stride in development is met with equal strides of testing, FDA regulation, and more testing, but we are optimistic about the impact that immunotherapy can have on our society’s collective fight against cancer. When the body’s immune system harnesses its own power to target and attack cancer, it may lead to better outcomes. At OncoSec, we have tested our immunotherapy technologies in early phase clinical trials, which led to promising preliminary results and expanded our clinical pipeline. We are motivated everyday by the tenacity of cancer patients around the world and their inspiration.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new vision that can define the collective work of all those who are committed to battling cancer head on. We here at OncoSec – alongside many other biotechnologists, scientists, doctors, researchers and companies – are thinking about cancer differently and hoping for, one day, a cancer-free world. In the meantime, we will do our part to push the boundaries of scientific pursuit. We wish Mr. Carter all the best and a speedy return to his humanitarian efforts.

The statements or opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer OncoSec Medical Incorporated.

[1] Nakamura, David. "Former President Jimmy Carter, 90, Announces That He Has Cancer." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.
[2] Nutt, Amy Ellis, Abby Phillip, and Brady Dennis. "Jimmy Carter to Undergo Latest Immune Treatment for Brain Cancer." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.

Photo: Ben Gray, MBI

Punit Dhillon