Greek Australian Theo Theodosi has undergone a “Benjamin Button” recovery from lung cancer with the help of a new immunotherapy drug.
The 62-year-old physiotherapist was told to get his affairs in order when he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in 2017.
“CT scans, MRIs, lung biopsies… I came out with stage three lung cancer. They couldn’t do surgery, they couldn’t do radiation, they couldn’t do chemo,” he told Nine News.
Then he met Dr Venessa Chin, who suggested a new immunotherapy drug called Keytruda, which helps the body’s own immune system target and kill cancer cells.
Theodosi quickly began to see results in what he calls a “Benjamin Button” recovery from lung cancer, referencing the famed F. Scott Fitzgerald story (and later film adaptation) about a man who ages backwards.
After two years of treatment and surgery to remove a lump, Theodosi got the all-clear.
“The lymph nodes within the lungs, which had previously had cancer in them on the scans, looked like they’d been cleared of cancer,” Dr Chin said.
“Theo’s been able to continue to work during this time. He’s been relatively well, doing overseas trips and sort of getting on with his life.”
Theodosi’s case has helped put the potentially life-saving drug on the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).