News 14 May 2024

Doctor cures his own “incurable” brain cancer with pioneering treatment

14 May 2024

In a remarkable triumph over adversity, Australian doctor Richard Scolyer, renowned for his groundbreaking work on melanoma, has conquered an aggressive brain cancer using his own innovative research methods.

Almost a year after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, a typically incurable form of brain cancer, Professor Scolyer received the news that he remains cancer-free.

Professor Scolyer’s journey began last June when a seizure in Poland led to the discovery of a tumour. Undeterred, he applied his pioneering melanoma treatment techniques to his own case, becoming the world’s first brain cancer patient to undergo pre-surgery combination immunotherapy.

Despite the daunting prognosis associated with glioblastoma, Professor Scolyer’s experimental treatment has not only kept the cancer at bay but has also significantly advanced the understanding of brain cancer treatment. His courageous decision to undergo an untested therapy has paved the way for future patients and has earned him and his colleague, Professor Georgina Long, the prestigious Australian of the Year award.

Both professors, who serve as co-medical directors of the Melanoma Institute Australia, have revolutionised cancer treatment with their immunotherapy approach, which harnesses the body’s immune system to fight the disease.

Speaking of his journey, Professor Scolyer remains cautiously optimistic, acknowledging the risks involved while hoping for continued success. He said, “The risk of major adverse reactions to these sorts of drugs is fairly high, but I’ve had it plain-sailing so far so I couldn’t be happier and I hope it stays like that for some time longer”.

His groundbreaking achievement offers hope to countless others battling similar diagnoses and signifies a pivotal moment in the fight against brain cancer.

[Image via X / @ProfRScolyerMIA]