Thursday, January 14, 2010

Treatment Plan

First, I should say that there's a chance I'm eligible for a Phase I/II clinical trial which is studying a Her-2 vaccine. The protocol would mean giving me a vaccine for once/week for three weeks, then they'd harvest some of my T-cells, which they'd grow in the lab until they had "millions" of them, which they'd then reinfuse into my body over three treatments. The vaccine would go to the tumor/cancer cells and make them look more like a foreign invader and my t-cells could go to town on them.

But, I'd only be eligible for the trial if my next treatment only includes Tykerb/Herceptin.

Dr. K said that Tykerb/Herceptin is one of my options. The other option is Herceptin/Gemzar. A third option is Abraxane/Avastin. The latter has serious side effects. He would prefer I go on Herceptin/Gemzar as it has a better track record - Gemzar is a traditional chemo-type drug whereas Tykerb attacks similar cells as Herceptin, so Gemzar gives us more variety as opposed to Tykerb treating a similar characteristic of my disease.

However, Dr. K did say that my tumors are not life threatening and if I wanted to just try Herceptin with Tykerb to see how I responded, he'd be okay with that.

This would allow me to try the immune therapy, which to me makes a lot of sense. From what I can tell, there aren't many side effects. Dr. K said that they have tested these immunotherapy on just a few patients. He said that a couple of patients have had "amazing" results, but it hasn't helped some patients.

So, in the end, what's my plan?

I'm going to start with Tykerb/Herceptin, in the off-chance that I'm eligible for the study. Hopefully within about a week and a half, I will know one way or another.

If they feel that I'm not eligible, then I agreed to do the Herceptin/Gemzar route because I do believe Gemzar/Herceptin gives me more tools to fight the disease than Tykerb/Herceptin.

I'm getting tired of this egg under my left arm pit. It's becoming more tender and the tissue is becoming tighter. So, the sooner we can do something about it, the better I'll feel.

Happy Thursday!


MisAnthropology said...

Eggs *definitely* have no business lurking around your armpits.

The trial sounds very cool (as does the fact that Doc K says your tumors in question are not life threatenting).

Dee said...

Hi Mary,
No, eggs should not be there at all! It's becoming more and more tender and I really want it to be gone! I hope this trial works out!

How's life in your neck of the woods? I know you're teaching here but I haven't seen you at all. Then again, I haven't been there much myself. Too much going on. Hope to see you soon!