In March, Alex Trebek announced that he had Stage IV pancreatic cancer and was going to fight the disease despite his less than encouraging prognosis. Now, the beloved longtime host of Jeopardy! has revealed that he’s in “near remission” in an exclusive interview with People.
Although experts say “near remission” is not a medical term, Trebek likely meant that he is in partial remission. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), partial remission means that the cancer has partly responded to treatment but still didn’t go away. It is most often defined as at least a 50% reduction in tumor size.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” said 78-year-old Trebek. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory…some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50%.”
Pancreatic cancer has a 9% overall survival rate, the ACS reports. Luckily, Trebek has been responding positively to chemotherapy. He still plans to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy in the hope that his cancer will go into full remission.
Trebek says he cried tears of joy after learning the news. (He has experienced depression since his diagnosis.) He also attributes his body’s response to the chemo to the well wishes from friends and fans across the globe.
“I told the doctors, this has to be more than just chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that.”
While many folks on social media have been celebrating Trebek’s recent update, some are also calling on him and his doctors to reveal his chemotherapy regimen so others may see the same success when fighting this cancer.
What great news, especially since pancreatic cancer is traditionally so difficult to treat. Sending #AlexTrebek love and healing vibes to beat it all the way! ❤️— LYNN CAREY SAYLOR (@LynnCareySaylor) May 29, 2019
I’m a 13-year survivor of Pancreatic Cancer. It’s a tuff row to hoe. I’m so thrilled Alex is getting such great results from his treatment. Keep up the fight Alex, it’s worth it ????????— Judy Glotfelty (@glotfelty_judy) May 30, 2019
Very happy to hear this news. I pray that he and his doctors publish his chemo cocktail details in hopes others would have such miracle results. Pancreatic Cancer research needs funding. Pray for Mr. Trebek, more publicity, and millions of research dollars.— Billie Szenderski (@BillieSZ) May 30, 2019
It would be awfully kind of Alex if he would share what chemo medications he is being treated with to achieve this type of result.— Alec Volker (@alecvolker) May 29, 2019