‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Dies at 80

By Pat Carragher - November 09, 2020

“Jeopardy!” Host Alex Trebek died Sunday following a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Trebek announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019, adding that like many others, he had no symptoms until it had spread throughout his body. He continued his hosting duties while undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy treatments.

According to Dr. Richard Kim, a medical oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, the average survival rate for patients diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is less than one year. “The only way to cure the cancer is by surgery, but only 20 percent of patients with pancreatic cancer are eligible for surgery,” he said.

Trebek responded well to his first round of chemotherapy in 2019, but later experienced a set-back while undergoing immunotherapy. As a result, Trebek resumed chemotherapy.

Dr. Dae Won Kim, also a medical oncologist in Moffitt’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program,

says only about about 1% to 5% of patients who have a specific gene mutation respond well to target therapy or immunotherapy. He adds there is a big push for more treatment options; there are currently some clinical trials including chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy depending on patients’ condition and tumor molecular test results.

“Jeopardy!” producers announced that episodes of the show Trebek hosted would air through Dec. 25. There are currently no plans for a replacement.

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