Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is thanking fans for their support after he revealed that he is in "near remission" in his ongoing battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The 78-year-old game show host gave a health update in a recent interview with PEOPLE, revealing that more than two months after announcing his cancer diagnosis, which carried just a nine percent survival rate, his tumors have "shrunk by more than 50 percent."
"It's kind of mind-boggling," Trebek told the outlet. "The doctors said they hadn't seen this kind of positive result in their memory…some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent."
Although Trebek admitted that he still has a long journey ahead of him, including several more rounds of chemotherapy, which has left him weak and occasionally depressed, he credits the continued well wishes from his fans around the world for his miraculous recovery.
"I've got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers," he said. "I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this."
"I've got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that," he added.
The longtime game show host had announced in March that he had been diagnosed with the disease, sharing a video addressed to fans that was filmed on the Jeopardy! stage.
"Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," he said in the March 6 video. "Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."0comments
In the weeks since, Trebek has continued to update fans on his prognosis, revealing in an interview with Good Morning America earlier this month that his oncologist had told him he was "doing well, even though I don't always feel it." He also said chemotherapy gives him "surges of deep, deep sadness."
Despite his health struggles, the host has maintained his position on Jeopardy! and has signed a contract that extends until 2022.