• Woman cancer-free after participating in breakthrough clinical trial

    By: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    CLEVELAND -

    Denise Keenan got used to the idea of dying after she received a cancer diagnosis nearly a decade ago.

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    "She's convinced me probably 100 times over the years that she was a goner," her husband, Jim Keenan, told WJW.

    After years of treatments and remissions, her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma reappeared more aggressively, WKBN reported

    A scan showed cancer had spread to her lungs and chest but after a clinical test trial called CAR T-cell therapy, which re-engineers the body’s T-cells, in July, a month later Keenan was cancer-free.

    "We collect the patient's cells. They get modified with a particular virus that introduces the genetic modification over 12 to 14 days,” Dr. Paolo Caimi, hematology and oncology specialist at University Hospitals, told WJW.

    The therapy made the Keenans’ recent 35th wedding anniversary celebration that much more special.

    Keenan is not sure how long the trial treatment will last, but is encouraged by the results so far. Her next scan is scheduled for March, WKBN reported.

    "The future is unknown so just enjoy the moment,” Keenan told WJW. “I think you're a lot happier if you can do that."

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