Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s pancreatic cancer went into remission. “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, diagnosed last year with the same disease, has said his “numbers are going in the right direction.”
Both celebrities attribute their improvement to the same experimental immunotherapy treatment being developed by the physician and billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Independent physicians say their experiences, while anecdotal, are encouraging, given how difficult pancreatic cancer is to treat. But their stories also underscore the power of celebrities sharing the details of their treatment. Recent media interviews given by Reid and Trebek about their treatments have helped drive up share prices of NantKwest, one of Soon-Shiong’s biotech companies. NantKwest’s stock price has doubled since June and its market value now tops $1.4 billion, up from just $130 million one year ago, according to Koyfin, a market data research firm.
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