Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Paganowill undergo four to six months of treatment, including chemotherapy, to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia, the team announced in a press conference at the West 56th Street complex this morning.
While Pagano is anxious to return, Colts owner Jim Irsay conceded the battle with this disease will be a marathon and the coach isn’t expected to return in a regular full-time capacity this season.
“It is unlikely he will be all in as a head coach this season,” Irsay said.
The outlook from Dr. Larry Cripe of IU Health Simon Cancer Center is promising. APL or APML is considered one of the more curable forms of the disease with a high percentage for remission.
“I am optimistic,” Irsay said. “I feel with every fiber in my body, and I know Chuck feels the same way, that he can beat this thing.”
Added general manager Ryan Grigson, in repeating words uttered by Irsay, “Chuck is a fighter.”
Pagano, who turns 52 on Tuesday, met with Cripe on Wednesday and was admitted to the hospital Wednesday night.
The goal is to cure the disease, but Cripe added, “The process is long and complicated and we’re just starting right now.”
According to an Indiana University Health release, most adults with this disease achieve remission. A small percentage of about 1,300 adults diagnosed each year die from complications and a few do not respond to initial therapy, the news release reported.
If Pagano achieves remission, he could continue receiving therapy for as much as two years, according to a Indiana University Health.