Thursday, January 06, 2011
I met with my oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care today. As a result of our discussion and following a review of the 29 page consent form (for which I was very glad to have friends Diane and Anne there to help with that), I have signed up for a trial. The drug is Protocol No. CA2100001 (MDX1105-01), sponsored by Bristol Meyers. It operates by freeing up the body's immune system to fight the cancer. My physician said that initially he was sceptical about this idea/drug but 2 out 3 of his patients that he's enrolled in the trial have had substantial success. And although that is not statistically significant overall, he thinks it portends well for me.
It doesn't matter if I am EGFR negative and don't have the ALK arrangement for this drug. I need to have a brain MRI to establish that there are no brain metastases and an ECG to assess my heart's condition, but assuming I pass those tests, I will be enrolled in the trial, which consists of administration of the drug intravenously every two weeks.
So fingers crossed. Side effects include diarrhea, joint pain, rash, and other autoimmune reactions, but I will be closely monitored. Nothing is for certain in life, but my experience as a lab rat will hopefully help in the development of effective cancer treatments.