Healthy Living

Sharon Apel’s Story: How Radioimmunotherapy Works for Lymphoma

Radioimmunotherapy eventually led to remission

In 1996, Apel underwent radioimmunotherapy. Her last remission lasted 3 months and she was left with no other options. “I was actually rather frightened about the whole thing, but I didn’t have anything to lose. When you know that you are going to die, you will do anything to try to find a cure,” said Apel. Fortunately, the therapy was rather quick and painless, involving an intravenous administration of an appropriate dose of radioactive antibody through the arm. “It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It didn’t make me sick; it didn’t make me lose my hair,” said Apel. After the treatment, she returned to her hometown in Kansas City. She came back to the hospital for a checkup after three months and her test results showed no signs of cancer. Over time, the length of time in between checkups gradually increased and every time, Apel received the same good news – no sign of lymphoma.