In honor of Beth Carner


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Beth was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at age of 25 despite undergoing recommended screening tests related to her known history of Lynch Syndrome. Lynch Syndrome is an inherited syndrome that predisposes afflicted individuals to develop early onset colorectal and other cancers. When she had exhausted all conventional treatments she came to see me as a patient. At her first visit her dad rolled her into the exam room in a wheelchair and she was so depressed that she barely could look me in the eye. She had good reason for her despair; she had been told that she had 6 weeks to live. After a long discussion, she decided to enrol on the first clinical trial using the immuno-oncology agent pembrolizumab for patients like her. The study was designed to test the benefit of the drug in patients with Lynch Syndrome after doctors at Johns Hopkins had observed a single patient who had advanced colon cancer and Lynch Syndrome had an extraordinary response to treatment. She had a dramatic and complete response to therapy. This year we celebrate the 10th year since her diagnosis. She is alive and disease free at age 35 and has returned to singing and dancing in musical theater productions. Her story is catalogued in a podcast recorded as a part of the Cancer Letter's Cancer History Project at at . Her story is a testimony to her courage and is meant to highlight the fact that clinical trials are how we make progress. It is also meant as a reminder that even in the serious world of cancer care there are more and more stories with happy endings!

Donor: Richard Goldberg