Jimmy Carter is not cured of cancer, the former president told "Entertainment Tonight"
in an exclusive interview, and he said he continues to receive treatment for the disease.
Carter, 91, had announced in December to one of his Sunday School classes which he teaches that doctors could no longer find the form of melanoma they had previously detected on parts of his brain, according to the Washington Post
. He had been undergoing a combination of radiation treatments and a new immune-based therapy.
But in the "Entertainment Tonight" interview on Sunday in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, Carter said the cancer is not completely gone but added that he is responding to treatment well.
"They haven't detected any cancer, but sometimes the cancer spots [return]," Carter said, "including in my brain. … I'll continue that until the doctors tell me I don't have to anymore. My immune system seems to be responding positively."
In December, Carter partly described his continued cancer treatment progress.
"My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones," he said in a Carter Center release
. "I will continue to receive regular three-week immunotherapy treatments of pembrolizumab."
Pembrolizumab is approved to treat melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health website
. Researchers are also examining the treatment for other types of cancer.
Carter had revealed last August that doctors found cancer during liver surgery and that he would be rearranging his schedule to include treatments at Atlanta's Emory Healthcare, according to The Hill
. Doctors had removed a mass from his liver at the time, noted the newspaper.
Carter told "Entertainment Tonight" that his wife Rosalynn has been a big inspiration to him.
"Her support has helped me the last 69 years that we've been married, in everything I've tried," said Carter. "Of course when I was ill, they thought I might die any time, and she was there for me. She grieved with me and was excited with me when I found out that my metabolism responded well to the treatment."
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