The most common courses of treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of the two. However, immunotherapy is also an option, and in the case of Ariella Chivil, it was what saved her. After battling recurrent cancer and being treated with immunotherapy, the patient is now sharing her story to help other patients.
Ariella Chivil had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when she was a college student and was treated with standard therapies, but the cancer returned. She was treated with 14 different cancer therapies over the course of four years, but all of them were ineffective. It was when Ariella participated in an immunotherapy clinical trial for the drug nivolumab (Opdivo), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last May, that her life changed.
“When I first heard about immunotherapy, the concept seemed so strange to me. I was just used to this idea that you are on treatment, you will feel terrible,” stated Ariella Chivil in the video shared by the Cancer Research Institute on its YouTube channel. After about three weeks of treatment, the doctors started to see improvements. “The only thing I experienced was some mild fatigue, otherwise, there was really no nausea or anything else to get in the way from me getting better.”
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