Liz Sheppard in the UK was suffering from an aggressive form of stomach cancer. She turned to an alternative treatment, immunotherapy, in what she thought might be her last chance to live longer.
Immunotherapy is a new treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to ward off cancer. In a healthy person, our immune systems target and destroy rogue cells that turn into cancer. Some cells, though, are able to hide themselves and develop into tumors.
What traditional cancer drugs do is target the cancer cells themselves. Immunotherapy, on the other hand, wakes up the immune system to the fact that a problem exists so it takes action against the cancer and kills it.
Liz paid privately for the immunotherapy, which many countries’ health systems will not pay for or pay for only a limited number of forms of cancer. With the help of donations from friends and supporters, Liz has undergone several sessions. The immunotherapy drug she is using is Nivolumab,
Nivolumab, marketed in the US as Opdivo, is a human antibody. Nivolumab works as a checkpoint inhibitor, blocking a signal that would have prevented activated T cells from attacking the cancer, thus allowing the immune system to clear the cancer. It was discovered at Medarex, developed by Medarex and Ono Pharmaceutical, and brought to market by Bristol-Myers. As of April 2016, Nivolumab was used as a first line treatment for inoperable or metastatic melanoma and as a second-line treatment for squamous non-small cell lung cancer and renal cell carcinoma.
Nivolumab has never been tested for Liz’s type of cancer, and so she paid to experiment on herself. She had a large tumor on her neck, and after the treatments, the tumor was simply gone. She did this as an alternative to traditional chemo, which can be so debilitating that people taking it can’t even get out of bed.
And so with a new lease on life, Liz is happily telling the world all about her miracle which came about solely as a result of not accepting what was being told to her as fact, and instead taking her health into her own hands!
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