Top Doctor Reveals He Is Cancer-Free a Year After Undergoing the World’s First Treatment Based On His Own Breakthrough Research

Dr. Richard Scolyer was diagnosed with incurable Stage 4 brain cancer after becoming ill last year. The type he had — glioblastoma — is considered the worst of the worst because it’s so aggressive that most patients survive less than a year. The 57-year-old underwent an experimental therapy based on his own research on melanoma, a type of cancer that starts on the skin. Last week he had an MRI and there's still no sign of recurrence. Scolyer collaborated with his colleague, Professor Georgina Long of the Melanoma Institute of Australia. The team used a treatment based on immunotherapy, which teaches the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. Research on melanoma showed immunotherapy works better when a combination of drugs is administered before the surgery to remove a tumor. Scolyer became the first brain cancer patient in the world to take a combination of immunotherapy drugs pre-surgery. He is also the first to be administered a vaccine personalized to his tumor’s characteristics, which boosts the cancer-detecting powers of the drugs. Scolyer cautions that his brain cancer is not considered cured, but it hasn’t come back yet. Around 300,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with glioblastoma each year. It is hoped that Dr. Scolyer's experimental treatment will lead to clinical trials for other patients, potentially extending their lives.