Wednesday’s Warriors: Dr. Ken Anderson

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In this week’s Wednesday’s Warriors, we feature a man who may be the most important person you haven’t heard of in the fight against multiple myeloma, a terminal blood cancer.

But get just a few minutes with Dr. Ken Anderson and it’s hard not to come away inspired.

“When I started out there were no treatments. We have 18 treatments now,” explained Dr. Anderson. “When I started out, people died in a couple of months. Now, I have patients living 30 or 40 years.”

Dr. Anderson, with the Dana Farber Women’s Cancer Center, has led the charge in the last decade to bring multiple new drugs from the research labs to the bedside for multiple myeloma patients.

Patients like Chris Hales from Grand Prairie, diagnosed in 2014, a Wednesday’s Warrior from July.

Hales is managing his terminal illness with constant targeted chemotherapy due in part to Dr. Anderson’s research.  Had he been diagnosed a decade ago, things would have been different.

in the last twelve years, we have 18 new treatments for this disease. We’ve transformed the treatment paradigm.

And the next big shot against cancers for people like Hales is immunotherapy.  Researchers are figuring out how to let your body’s own immune system kill the cancer.

“If you have a memory immune system response when you get vaccinated for tetanus, small pox or the flu, you never get those things. Because you have a memory immune response, we’re on the threshold of getting memory immune response against their own cancer for people,” said Dr. Anderson.

A real reason to hope for those in the fight and for those who will be.

Each day, 32 Texans are diagnosed with blood cancer.  Almost ten Texans die each day from blood cancer.

I’m on a mission to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by taking on the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in a little more than two weeks.

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