Houston, TX

MD Anderson's patient shares his story of being free stage IV melanoma

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON, TX — A patient treated by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Bradley Evans, Psy. D. shared his fight against skin cancer or also known as melanoma. Thanks to treatment at the cancer center, he is now free from the disease.

At first, Bradley underestimated the mole on his head, even though it sometimes bleeds and darkens. Due to his wife's insistence, he finally checked himself after months of not seeing a doctor.

Based on a diagnosis in early 2017, he was diagnosed with melanoma. After figuring out the best place to treat his illness, he decided to choose MD Anderson Cancer Center. Another factor supporting his decision was the travel time to the location which only took three hours from his home in central Texas.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Merrick Ross and melanoma specialist Dr. Rodabe Amaria, whom Evans met on his first appointment, told him that his melanoma had progressed from stage II to stage IV. In addition, lymph node cancer was also found in the patient's left shoulder after a biopsy was performed.

In addition to being offered several well-established treatment regimens involving an experimental immunotherapy drug called PV-10 as well as another immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab, Evans was also proposed an immunotherapy clinical trial.

After deciding to opt for the clinical trial, he underwent his first surgery which was the removal of a tumor from his scalp by Dr. Ross and got injections afterward. The remaining tumor soon shrunk and slowly disappeared.

Treatment has not been completed since he had to undergo a second operation with the same doctor to remove the remnants of the tumor on his shoulder. And after three years, he is now completely free of melanoma and lymph node cancer.

However, Evans is still experiencing mild symptoms such as joint pain until now. But he overcomes it with movement and exercise. Having had a second chance at life, Evans feels very grateful. Besides saying thank you, Evans also commends the medical team who has treated him very well at MD Anderson.

He also has no regrets and feels proud to have participated in the clinical trial. He hopes that the insight into his participation in the clinical trial supported by the combination of drugs he received will be also available to many more people who need help.

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