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Melanoma experts optimistic about Jimmy Carter's progress
Published in 7-12-2015
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ATLANTA (AP) Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that his latest brain scan found no evidence of melanoma, the serious form of cancer that doctors discovered this summer in his liver and brain. Carter said he will continue receiving regular drug treatments to help his immune system fight the disease. Doctors not involved with Carter's care said his medical team will perform regular scans of Carter's brain and liver where cancer cells had been and they likely will check other parts of his body for any recurrence or new growth. "For today, the news cannot be better," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. Dr. Douglas Johnson, a melanoma specialist at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center said Keytruda and similar immune therapy drugs have "really revolutionized" treatment of the disease. "In general, people who've had a good response to these drugs continue the treatments," Johnson said, adding that clinical trials on the drugs didn't give a defined number of treatments. Experts have called Keytruda and other immune therapy drugs "game-changing" for patients with the skin cancer that kills nearly 10,000 Americans each year. Carter told The Associated Press in November that he experiences few side effects from the drug treatments.