Kenyan woman with stage IV cancer gets new lease of life in Delhi hospital

The woman has recovered well and is now back in her country with a recommendation to continue immunotherapy there.

Published: 18th October 2022 06:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2022 06:26 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI:  A 57-year-old Kenyan woman diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer received a new lease of life after undergoing "low dose" immunotherapy and chemotherapy at a leading hospital here, doctors said on Tuesday.

So far, in the medical literature world over, such an excellent response to low-dose immunotherapy and chemotherapy has not been described in an endometrial cancer case, they claimed.

Apollo hospital in a statement said, "The patient had been suffering from endometrial cancer for the past year and was operated on in her native country Kenya in November 2021."

"However, after the surgery, the disease spread to other organs and the patient developed additional complications involving extensive disease in the abdomen and pelvis, fluid in both lungs, liver metastasis, a non-healing surgical wound in the abdomen, and clots in her legs," it said.

With her condition deteriorating and disease taking a toll on her overall health, as a first step, she was given chemotherapy, it said.

"Endometrial cancer is the cancer of the inner lining of the uterus. Often it is diagnosed at an early stage due to frequent abnormal vaginal bleeding, but in few cases, it can reach stage IV without being diagnosed," said Dr Shuaib Zaidi, senior consultant, and surgical oncologist at the hospital here.

"In most cases of stage IV endometrial cancer, cancer can spread too far to be removed with surgery, and so need chemotherapy and immunotherapy for treatment," he said.

The woman from Kenya presented with "extensive peritoneal deposits" in her abdomen and pelvis, chest nodes, fluid in both lungs, extensive disease in the liver, a non-surgical wound, and clots in both legs, after surgery of stage IV endometrial cancer, the statement said.

On admission at Apollo hospital, the patient was very weak and fatigued due to multiple health complications.

She was admitted on January 20 this year for initial management of disease, but with her condition deteriorating due to a large volume of disease, she was advised chemotherapy with immunotherapy, doctors said.

She underwent a "successful treatment of her stage IV endometrial cancer" with chemotherapy and immunotherapy at Apollo hospital here, it said.

Dr. Ajay Gupta, senior consultant, medical oncology, at the hospital said, "She needed chemotherapy to combat the widespread disease process. Considering her poor general condition, we started her on weekly chemotherapy. Post two months of therapy, she showed reasonable physical improvement and the disease process had stabilised."

There was a danger that this "high-risk disease might progress when the chemotherapy was stopped," doctors said.

"To circumvent this problem, we utilised a novel approach, using low-dose immunotherapy, which was very affordable, and this was added to her chemotherapy regimen," Gupta said.

"Following three cycles of immunotherapy and six cycles of chemotherapy, a PET scan was done to assess the response to treatment," he said.

"It was seen that the blood clots, along with the extensive metastatic disease in the lungs, abdomen, pelvis and liver had disappeared suggesting a complete or near complete response of this deadly disease to the given therapy," he added.

Gupta claimed the woman has recovered well and is now back in her country with a recommendation to continue immunotherapy there.

"She is now without any symptoms and leading a normal, healthy active lifestyle," he said.

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