This should not be part of anyone’s game plan. Still, it was nice to read that for at least this one 67-year-old asymptomatic CLL patient, a case of COVID-19 (associated with low blood counts and a broad spectrum of treatments) resulted in his CLL becoming undetectable in his bone marrow and blood, and his scans had all returned to normal. A year later, he remains in complete remission.
Cancer remissions following serious infections are well documented and make sense because revving up the immune system is the backbone of many modern immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T, monoclonal antibodies, and bone marrow transplants.
In 1891, long before we had modern medications to treat cancer that could not be removed with surgery, Coley successfully injected his toxin of the bacteria, streptococci, into tumors, and many shrunk in response.
The pandemic has brought us much bad news. However, I wanted to share one celebratory story.
Here is the original case report: Spontaneous Remission of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in a Patient with SARS-CoV2.
Stay strong. We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed (he, him, his)
Co-Founder, Executive VP, and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society, Inc.