Scott McIntyre considers himself a walking miracle after 16 months of remission. The 53-year-old man from South Bend was initially given three to six month to live and he now is cancer free.
Scott was part of a 130 patients clinical trial and the first one to receive the treatment at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM). After the treatment, he received chemotherapy and has lost his hair three times.
He discovered he had cancer after noticing a painful growth in his groin area. After some months he noticed another lump in his arm and scans confirmed he had Stage 3 lymphoma. The treatment took 10 minutes in each session.
The cancer survivor owns a semi-truck service sales near LaPaz and since his miraculous recovery, his face will represent the breakthrough treatment made by UCM. The treatment is still pending FDA approval. When this happens, UCM will be the only one to have certified facilities to administer the new treatment: a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell infusion or CAR T-cell.
How the treatment works
This revolutionary therapy involves the use of white blood cells (T-cells), which are extracted from the patient’s blood. These T-cells are modified to recognize specific cancer cells and afterwards they are reintroduced to the patient’s body with the mission of recognizing and destroying the cancer cells. The new treatment will be marketed under the name Kymriah by Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company.
The good news is that the FDA approved the same treatment for childhood leukemia and soon it will also be available for Scott’s type of cancer: large B-cell lymphoma. The approval has been characterized as historic by the FDA because it is the first cell-based therapy approved in the U.s.