Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter saidon Sunday that he will no longer need treatment for melanoma, atype of skin cancer that had spread to his liver and brain, theAtlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported.

The 91-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner will continue to beobserved by doctors, but will not need treatment with apromising immunotherapy drug that helps the body's immune systemtarget cancer cells, the newspaper said, quoting his nonprofitpublic policy center, the Carter Center.

A spokeswoman for the Carter Center told the newspaper in anemail that if doctors find that the former president's cancerreturns, he will resume treatment.

The former president shared his news at a Sunday schoolclass he teaches in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, thenewspaper said, quoting Carter's niece, Mandy Flynn.

Carter started treatment in August for melanoma that hadspread from his liver to his brain. In December, he said he wascancer-free but that he would continue to receive treatment.

At the time, Carter said he would continue to receiveregular doses of pembrolizumab, a new treatment that is part ofa promising class of drugs that harness the body's immune systemto fight cancer. The immunotherapy is manufactured by Merck & Counder the brand name Keytruda.

While about 30 percent of patients treated with the drugexperience significant shrinkage of their cancer, onlyapproximately 5 percent experience complete remission, said Dr.Marc Ernstoff, director of the melanoma program at the ClevelandClinic's Taussig Cancer Institute in Ohio who is familiar withthe drug but has not been involved with Carter's care.

Carter said previously he would receive care at EmoryUniversity's Winship Center Institute.

Carter, a Democrat, was elected president in 1976, andserved only one term. He helped negotiate the 1978 Camp DavidAccords between Israel and Egypt.

But his presidency was clouded by economic problems and theIranian hostage crisis, and Carter lost his 1980 re-election bidto Republican Ronald Reagan.

He has since won worldwide acclaim as a humanitarian andadvocate for democracy, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. (Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler)



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