Ray Gillespie had a very serious diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but CAR T-cell therapy has worked wonders for him and his daily life. Ray and his doctor, Dr. Lawrence Morris, medical director of Northside Hospital's Leukemia Program and Inpatient Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit, spoke recently about Ray's cancer journey in a video for WebMD.
"I had a big lump right where my left leg meets the rest of the body and so I went to my family practitioner and it came back as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," said Ray. "They said, we're going to try to get you three months but we can't guarantee that."
"At the end of the eight rounds of chemo, it had knocked it down but it had not knocked it out," Ray added. "They had a clinical trial that I seemed to fit. It scared the daylights out of me at first but it came out that that's probably going to be the best thing that I could do."
"The way that we make advances in medicine, it's not just scientists and doctors. Nothing can really happen unless courageous patients like you participate in clinical trials," Dr. Morris said to Ray. "We knew that the therapy you got, CAR-T therapy, could be effective for this kind of lymphoma. I think you got through it very well and so far, so good. Last we checked, you were in complete remission."
*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50 percent five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.