Australian doctor Richard Scolyer cancer-free year after terminal diagnosis

Way of life

An Australian doctor who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor last year is now cancer-free thanks to a first-of-its-kind treatment he helped develop.

University of Sydney professor Richard Scolyer revealed on Monday that the incurable stage 4 glioblastoma discovered in his head had not recurred after he received the heartbreaking diagnosis last June.

“I had a brain #MRI last Thursday looking for recurrent #glioblastoma (and/or treatment-related complications). I found out yesterday that there is still no sign of a recurrence. I couldn’t be happier!!!!! » the professor shared on.

In May 2023, the fitness educator was traveling across Europe speaking at medical conferences when he suffered a seizure while in Poland.

Scolyer returned to Australia, where he underwent an MRI which revealed he had glioblastoma, an aggressive and terminal form of brain cancer, its subtype classified as so aggressive that most patients do not survive no more than a year, according to the BBC. .

Dr. Richard Scolyer prepares for a recent MRI to look for “recurrent glioblastoma and/or treatment-related complications.” X/@ProfRScoyerMIA

The pathologist, who is director of the Melanoma Institute Australia, teamed up with his co-director, Georgina Long, to develop a treatment plan to help combat the deadly disease.

The duo’s decade-long immunotherapy research at the Melanoma Institute has significantly increased outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma, leading to the pair being jointly named 2024 NSW Australian of the Year.

Scolyer has documented his medical journey, sharing each of his MRI results, including photos, on his social media. X/@ProfRScoyerMIA

Using information discovered during immunotherapy research or using the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, Long and his team have achieved the best results in helping Scolyer fight, using a combination of medication before surgery, the first in the world its kind treatment.

After consulting experts, Professor Long opted for combination immunotherapy, which would be given before and after Scolyer’s surgery to remove the tumor.

Alongside combination immunotherapy, Scolyer was the first to receive a vaccine specifically tailored to the characteristics of his tumor, which would help boost the drugs’ cancer-detecting powers.

Scolyer was the first person to receive combination immunotherapy before his surgery last year. X/@ProfRScoyerMIA

He also received six weeks of radiotherapy after the operation.

Scolyer’s treatment did not begin without problems.

He suffered from seizures, liver problems and pneumonia in the first few months, but since then his condition has improved and he has even returned to his daily routine, including brisk jogging 15 km a day .

“I feel the best I have in a long time (in a long time),” Scolyer told the BBC.

Georgina Long and Richard Scolyer have been jointly named 2024 NSW Australian of the Year. Fairfax Media

“It certainly doesn’t mean my brain cancer is cured… but it’s just nice to know it hasn’t come back yet, so I still have some time to enjoy my life with my wife Katie and my three wonderful children.”

Scolyer has documented his medical journey, sharing each of his MRI results, including photos, on his social media.

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