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Alex Trebek opens up about experimental cancer treatment: ‘I expect to be around’

Click to play video 'Alex Trebek opens up about his experimental cancer treatment' Alex Trebek opens up about his experimental cancer treatment
'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek told 'Good Morning America' he is seeing some positive results as he undergoes an experimental immunotherapy treatment.

Things seem to be looking up for Alex Trebek.

After beating the odds and surviving Stage 4 pancreatic cancer for more than a year, Trebek told Good Morning America (GMA) he’s currently undergoing an experimental immunotherapy treatment.

It’s the same treatment that former senator Harry Reid, whose cancer is now in remission, tried. The beloved Canadian Jeopardy! host is seeing great results, too.

Blood tests, he said, have revealed his CA 19 numbers, the numbers that indicate how his cancer is progressing.

Read more: Alex Trebek gives update on cancer battle — ‘My numbers are great’

“Eight weeks ago, the numbers were at about 3,500. Now, they’re below 100. So I’m going in the right direction,” he said. “The doctors have said they have never seen a chart like mine because there are peaks … They usually see it going up.

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“I’m a bit of an anomaly.”

“I’m doing well,” he said in an update posted to the official Jeopardy! YouTube account. “It is paying off, though it does fatigue me a great deal. My numbers are good, feeling great.”

His memoir, The Answer Is…: Reflections On My Life, is set to be released this week and promises a deeper look into his life, family upbringing and experience with cancer, he told the talk show.

“I’ve received so many expressions of love and so many prayers said on my behalf since the diagnosis was made public that I thought, ‘Well, maybe the people would care to learn something about me,'” he told ABC News anchor T.J. Holmes.

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Trebek, who turns 80 this week, first revealed he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. It’s been up and down since then, but love from his fans and family has kept him strong.

For the show host, taping Jeopardy! gives him strength.

“Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength,” he told the New York Times. “It’s the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir.”

Click to play video 'Alex Trebek updates his health saying he is ‘doing well’' Alex Trebek updates his health saying he is ‘doing well’
Alex Trebek updates his health saying he is ‘doing well’

“It’s a quality program, and I think I do a good job hosting it, and when I start slipping, I’ll stop hosting,” he continued.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows.

“There was one day a few weeks ago when Jeanie (Trebek’s wife, Jean Trebek) asked me in the morning, ‘How do you feel?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I wanna die.’ It was that bad,” he told GMA.

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“I apologize to her and explain that it has nothing to do with my love for her or my feelings for her. It just has to do with the fact that I feel like I’m a terrible burden to her. And that bothers me tremendously.”

Read more: Alex Trebek gives one-year update on his cancer — ‘There were moments of great pain’

Trebek says his wife has really helped him through the sadness and depression as he dealt with the mental toll of his cancer.

“She’s a saint,” Trebek said. “She has so much goodness in her that she is always giving out, always putting out to help me get over difficult moments. And there have been some difficult moments. I’m just in awe of the way she handles it.”

As for his prognosis, his doctor says he’s “counting on me celebrating two years of survivorship.”

“So I expect to be around because he said I will be around,” he said. “And I expect to be hosting the show if I am around.”

Click to play video 'Alex Trebek talks ‘Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time’' Alex Trebek talks ‘Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time’
Alex Trebek talks ‘Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time’

Proceeds from his book, which goes on sale Tuesday, will be donated to charity.

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca