Dear friends and family,
Here is a brief update from our trip to Tennessee Oncology in Nashville, affiliated with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute. We went up there to discuss clinical trial options.
We met Dr Bendell yesterday, and the good news is that we received better news than we had hoped. The long-and-short is, the trial we were most interested in is a 3 armed trial: Arm 1: control drug (currently approved drug for colorectal), Arm 2: exp drug 1 (approved in other cancer types), and Arm 3: exp drug 1 + exp drug 2 (this is the combination therapy that showed some promise for people with my cancer type). The concern we’ve had with this trial is that each patient gets randomized to an arm, so I might be put on Arm 1 and get a standard therapy (not the immunotherapy).
However, Sarah Cannon just opened a new trial, a phase 1B that only has 1 arm (so no randomization). It is testing exp drug 1 + exp drug 2 + another approved drug (one that I’ve been on before). So this trial is like Arm 3++. The doctor up there called this the “sexier” option. The idea is to combine drugs that will aid the immune system in recognizing cancer cells so that they can invade and destroy solid tumors.
I need to decide by Thursday if I’m going to get on one of these trials. Honestly, I don’t really think I have any choice. Other standard therapies are not all that exciting, frankly. All my docs have said “get on the trial”. I don’t see any reason not to pursue the newer phase 1B trial. As my friend Carlton said, it seems an answered prayer for there to be a new trial with no randomization for which I’d be the first patient. Crazy. So, assuming nothing happens to change our minds, I’ll be going back to Nashville next week for a physical screening. This will involve tests to determine if there is anything that would disqualify me. Assuming I pass that, I would start treatment every 2 weeks in Nashville.
I may buy a small eco-car!
So life may get even more complicated for me soon
Much love and appreciation to you all. Thanks for your continued support!
Edit: I found this pic and it describes how my brain feels right now…