When Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer three months ago, fans were shocked. But now the beloved Trebek has good news to share: He’s in “near remission,” according to doctors.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” the 78-year-old says, in PEOPLE’s new cover story. Although the cancer has a 9 percent survival rate, Trebek has been responding very well to chemotherapy. “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.”

Trebek says he’ll still have to go through several more rounds of chemotherapy to hopefully get into full remission, but he’s elated at how far he’s come.