David Gobin worked for 28 years as a Baltimore police officer. He said the toughest part of the job was the unknown – wondering at all times what to expect next. When he retired from the police force, he looked forward to relaxing, maybe learning to play golf.
He never anticipated being diagnosed with lung cancer, but he summoned all of the skills he had acquired during his years as a police officer for his most difficult battle yet.
“This was harder than anything I ever faced,” Gobin says.
Two surgeries, two clinical trials and two cycles of radiation treatment later, his cancer returned.
“Nothing worked, but it was keeping me alive,” Gobin says. I’m not a quitter, and I was determined to stay alive until something came along that would work.”
That something came in the form of an immune therapy worked in synergy with drug treatments targeted to epigenetic defects in lung cancer.
“I was one of the first people to get this treatment,” says Gobin, who recently shared his story on the national Stand Up to Cancer telethon. “It’s amazing to be part of what might be a cure.”
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore continue to refine this therapy. Ultimately they envision boosting its effectiveness by combining it with other anti-cancer agents, including cancer vaccines.