Skip to Content Top

Embrace Immunochemotherapy


Mr. Winfrey's doctors in Georgia referred him to a lung specialist who attempted to drain the fluid from his lung. The doctor could only capture 60 cc's of fluid. The cytology report showed that the fluid was consistent with reactive mesothelial cells. At the urging of his doctors at the Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, Mr. Winfrey consented to exploratory surgery and a deep right pleural biopsy was performed. The pathologist at Kennestone diagnosed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mr. Winfrey's doctors advised that they could not treat the tumors aggressively.

Mr. Winfrey began searching the Internet for information about mesothelioma. He found our website and immediately contacted Dr. Sugarbaker in Boston and Dr. Valerie Rusch at Sloan Kettering. After consulting with these two renown thoracic surgeons, Ikey decided that the "odds of surgery were not in his favor." Instead, he traveled to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to discuss other treatment options. However, consistent with M.D. Anderson's history during the past several years, the doctors did not recommend any multi-modal treatments. Finally, Mr. Winfrey learned of Dr. Harvey Pass in Detroit. Dr. Pass agreed to review his medical history to determine whether he qualified for a new experimental immunochemotherapy regimen of cisplatin, interferon, and tamoxifen.

After reviewing Mr. Winfrey's medical records and talking with his local oncologist, Dr. Pass agreed that Ike was a good candidate for this new experimental protocol. On Tuesday, January 13, 1998, he had his first treatment. Mr. Winfrey and his family are very "excited and optimistic" about the treatments. Ike will visit the hospital once a week for five (5) weeks, take various pills and receive injections two (2) to three (3) times per week. Ike hopes that this regimen of treatment will shrink his tumor.

It should be mentioned that Ike is very pleased to have found Dr. Pass. At first, Mr. Winfrey's local doctors were skeptical about the possibility of a meaningful treatment plan. Dr. Pass then spoke to his doctors and telecopied various articles about his protocol. Mr. Winfrey's doctors were very impressed.

We will keep you posted on Ike's condition. He is a very optimistic young man with a cheerful disposition. He was exposed to asbestos throughout his career while working as a boiler operator. He began work in the U.S. Navy in 1960. He also worked from 1971 to 1997 at a General Motors plant in Doraville, Georgia.

** POSTED JANUARY 26, 1998 **

Update on Ikey Winfrey
October 19, 1998

Approximately three weeks ago, Mr. Winfrey was taken to the emergency room of Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia. He was having trouble breathing. The doctors took several chest films, and determined that his shortness of breath was caused by the tumor compressing his lung. In addition, the doctors noted that the tumor appears to have spread to the lining of his other lung.

Mr. Winfrey completed Dr. Harvey Pass' immunochemotherapy treatments in June, 1998. He now takes an herbal treatment three times a day, hoping it will slow the growth of the tumor. Mr. Winfrey also takes morphine to control the pain. So far, his weight has remained stable, and his appetite has increased slightly since he started taking Megace.

Unfortunately, because of his pain, daily activities and sleeping have become increasingly difficult for Ikey. He is not able to shower by himself, so his wife Mary, assists him. Ikey spends most of his days in bed or in his recliner. He sometimes watches television, or if the weather is cool, he rides around outside in a handicapped cart.

** POSTED OCTOBER 19, 1998 **

Mr. Ikey Winfrey passed away on November 28, 1998