Celebrating the End of Cancer Treatment

Stefanie Joho

Stefanie Joho

Stefanie Joho, 25, had been given a death sentence. Diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, she traveled to cancer centers around the U.S. in search of a therapy that could buy her time. She found it at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center -- the result of a combination of recent scientific advances in immunotherapy and a genetic discovery from 30 years earlier. Today, she received her last treatment, known as anti-PD-1 therapy, which breaks down barriers to the immune system's ability to recognize cancer cells. Johns Hopkins investigators at the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy played a leading role in the clinical development of PD-1 blockade/anti-PD-1 therapy and the scientific studies to develop biomarkers for response to the therapy. Hopkins scientists also have led pioneering work in understanding the PD-1 pathway and how the therapy works. There is still plenty of ongoing research on these therapies, particularly on why they don't work for everyone, and much of the research is initiated and led by Johns Hopkins investigators. But Joho, who was days from dying from what would be considered an incurable colon cancer, is now in complete remission.

**Note: Stefanie participated in a clinical trial funded by the Swim Across America. In September, she'll join other Baltimore swimmers in the Swim Across America event to benefit cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Learn more about the event and the research.

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7 Comments

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Comments

Carole Schaffer June 30, 2017 at 5:42 am

This is my second comment. In August 2016 I was on Avastin for colon cancer. Because significant bleeds we terminated my last dose of Avastin and I had a 6 month hiatus. Since I didn't have the mutant gene my oncologist put me on Erbitux, an EFGR inhibitor, Irinotican and the pump for home with 5FU. Needless to say I bled almost right after the 1st treatment. When I went in for my 2nd treatment my hemoglobin wss good but my white blood count was a 1 or 2. I needed nupregen to raise the count. The good news is the tumor cells are decreasing. Hopefully this will work and the cancer will be gone.

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Marilyn Lowe March 18, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Could it possibly help my son and others who have multiple myeloma? He is
Being treated at Moffet Cancer Center in Tampa,Fl.

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Bonnie Wright November 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Ovarian cancer twice and dad had colon cancer twice. With both of us, the second time it went to the lung. Had a topoisomerases inhibitor the second time around, as did dad. It worked well.

I have heard great stuff about PD-1. Now they have many options to treat cancer.

So happy for you and best of luck!

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Paula Michaud August 14, 2016 at 6:56 am

Stephanie, you are one brave soul and have lived your life well through many trails. You are an inspiration to all. Congratulations!

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Simon March 19, 2017 at 6:27 am

Well said. You are one brave patient and more importantly a survivor and a thriver!

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Kevin Estis August 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm

That was so uplifting to read. Congratulations & may you stay cancer free.

I'm hoping for a treatment like that for my multiple myeloma. I too get treated at JHH Sidney Kimmel.

All the best to you Stefanie!!

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Carole Schaffer August 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Congratulations right now I'm on Avastin and 5FU. Since this is my second run if it doesn't work I'm going to John Hopkins thank u for sharing

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