Suthakar Iyer was diagnosed with high grade myxofibro sarcoma in the lower left extremity at the age of 42. His life prospective changed emotionally and physically. In this sarcoma journey, he is very lucky to have good doctors and hospitals, to be alive and having a good quality of life. Any cancer journey is not easy and this is even more true with sarcoma since each cell type acts like independent cancer and very few people get this disease. Another big difficultly for the patients, like Suthakar, who are diagnosed with high grade sarcoma, is the handling of the frequent recurrences.
Suthakar had recurrences every year between 2008 to 2014 in the lower left extremity. For that, he underwent treatments including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For his 2012 recurrence, he even went to Europe to have a treatment called Isolated Limb Profusion. Even after all of his treatments, doctors gave him only a short remission period. His last recurrence happened in 2015 and went to his lungs. Treatment options available to him were limited, either to select chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Suthakar selected immunotherapy as his treatment.
Suthakar is enrolled in immunotherapy clinical trials and has been taking the treatment since October 2015. In this treatment process, the outcome is really life-saving. Because of this miracle therapy, no cancer cells were found in either lung. After waiting for so many years for a breakthrough in the sarcoma research, Suthakar sees immunotherapy as a new hope to patients like him who had many recurrences. He has been in complete remission for more than a year and has no side effects. Suthakar is looking forward to a complete cure and encourages all sarcoma patients to try this excellent treatment.
Suthakar’s journey of sarcoma taught him an important lesson in life – to not give up and try your best to look for various treatment options available. Doubt and fear should be removed before taking any sarcoma therapy, whether it will work or not, since the data for sarcoma is very limited. Each sarcoma patient is a unique case, even if the cell type may be the same.
As a sarcoma survivor for the past ten years, Suthakar reminds all sarcoma patients, friends and families that they have a responsibility to work closely with sarcoma non-profit organizations for their various activities to look for cure of sarcoma in our life time. Suthakar is honored to get the 2017 Courage Patient Award from the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
Suthakar is living in New Jersey with his family and enjoying every moment of my life. He would like to give his special thanks to the Sarcoma Foundation of America for supporting the Immunotherapy trials.