Doctors told Christine Lee she was just months away from death at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
“She was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma,” Aaron Goodman, MD told NBC7. “It’s a cancer of your white blood cells. So, your immune system, which we all need to fight COVID and infections, can actually get cancers in itself.”
The traditional treatments at UC San Diego couldn't help her.
“The subsequent chemotherapy I gave her, her lymphoma just blew through it, just kind of laughed at it, and continued to progress,” said Goodman.
It wasn't until Goodman proposed a new treatment called CAR T-Cell Therapy.
“It’s almost a science fiction-like therapy. It’s quite amazing,” Goodman smiled.
Goodman told NBC7 that they took the white blood cells from Lee and sent them to a lab where the cells were then engineered to fight cancer better. The strengthened cells were then put back into Lee's body.
The treatment was a success and Lee's cancer is now goon.
“I’m like, ‘Oh! It’s gone. I’m good!’” said Lee.
Now in good health, she is able to focus all her attention on Limitless Dance Complex, a dance studio she opened with her family just months before the pandemic hit.
Over 40 people have also undergone CAR T-Cell treatment at UC San Diego Health.
“As a standard of care," said Goodman. "I can’t imagine what the next 15, 30 years we’ll see.”