Poison's Rikki Rockett Celebrates Five Years Cancer-Free

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 28, 2021

Photo: Getty Images North America

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett marked six years since his cancer diagnosis this week.

Rockett looked back on his diagnosis, the setback that followed his initial round of treatment and his unlikely survival.

"Six years ago I was diagnosed with base of tongue cancer with associated lymph nodes, squamous cell carcinoma from HPV," he wrote in a social post. "I did standard of care. Chemo and radiation. I waited the 3 months to see if it worked… it didn’t. I now had a 10% chance of beating it."

With seemingly nothing to lose, Rockett joined an experimental clinical trial for a new cancer treatment at Moores Cancer Center under the care of Dr. Ezra Cohen.

"The trial was a combination of two immunotherapy drugs targeted at training my immune system to fight the cancer," he continued. "[Nine] weeks into the trial the imaging showed 90% reduction in tumors. This was unprecedented and the best was yet to come! At 18 weeks I was in full remission and one of the drugs I was on, Keytruda, was fast tracked by the FDA for use in patients with a similar cancers. I felt not only like I was a miracle patient, but that my trial would help so many more people. The single greatest thing I have ever contributed to!"

But Rockett attributes his survival to more than experimental drugs and care he received from his doctors. He thanked his longtime girlfriend TC Smith, who kept him thinking positively throughout the ordeal.

He went on to note that he recently tested negative for cancer again, five years after going into remission.

"Clinical trials are sometimes magical," Rockett concluded. "If you or a loved one has a hard to cure disease, look into a cutting edge clinical trial. It could save your life. God bless!"

Rockett's cancer was the same type that also afflicted Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson that same year (2015) and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine in 2019.

Earlier this month, Rockett recovered from a bout with COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated at the time and credited the vaccine with sparing him the worst of the disease. He urged people to get vaccinated to protect vulnerable people around them, like cancer patients and cancer survivors.

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