Drug used for other cancers saves his life

This is a summary of an article featuring Dr Daryl Tan in The Straits Times, Jan 2017.

Pembrolizumab to treat natural killer T-cell lymphoma

After multiple treatments for T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a patient found hope in Pembrolizumab which is typically used to treat lung cancer and a type of skin cancer. It is not, however, approved for use for non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment. Although lymphoma as a whole is among the top 10 most common cancers for both men and women here, the natural killer T-cell variant makes up only 5 per cent of all cases. If discovered early, its cure rate is between 30 and 40 per cent. If detected late, it is nearly zero.

Dr Daryl Tan believes in Hodgkin’s lymphoma drug

Dr Tan, who is also the research director at Raffles Hospital, said he chose the drug because his understanding of the biology behind it led him to believe it might work. Clinical trials ongoing at the time showed encouraging results when the drug was used against Hodgkin’s lymphoma – another variant of lymphoma that seemed to attack the body in similar ways.

About Dr Daryl Tan

Dr Daryl Tan is an experienced haematologist who specialises in the treatment of blood cancers, including lymphoma, multiple myeloma, leukaemia, and myeloproliferative neoplasms. He also has expertise in diagnosing and treating bleeding disorders and general haematological conditions.

Seeking medical advice for your blood cancer or haematological condition? Contact Dr Daryl Tan today.

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