Immunotherapy offers a new avenue of hope for cancer patients.
Eight years ago, David Gobin was suffering from stage 4 lung cancer. It swiftly spread to lymph nodes on the right side of his body and in his liver. Two surgeries, two clinical trials, sessions of chemotherapy and radiation blasts failed to slow the disease; doctors said there was a 10 percent chance he would not see another Christmas.
Clearly, the retired Baltimore police officer needed a miracle. It came in the form of a groundbreaking treatment called immunotherapy, which, rather than attacking cancer cells, amps up the immune system.
“I thought I was a guinea pig,” Gobin, now 66, tells The Post. “But what was the worst it could do, kill me? . . . If it gave me another six months [of life], I would have been happy.”
As it turned out, immunotherapy did more than that. His cancer has been stable — meaning it has ceased growing or spreading, thanks to his T cells keeping it in check — for three years.
Immunotherapy has helped David Gobin in his battle against lung cancer.
Gobin shared his story last week at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, home to the new Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Though immunotherapy’s been used as a form of treatment for eight years, its latest incarnation has been able to attack cancer on multiple levels.