Saturday, November 17, 2007

Randy Pausch update

He is the Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) professor that I wrote about in this blog on September 20 2007 who delivered his “last lecture.” I like to follow certain stories and topics and Randy Pausch is one of them. He was being treated with two palliative chemo drugs, Gemcitabine and Tarceva. These are two of the same chemo drugs I have been on this year, but in my case the hope was for a cure, not palliatative. Randy has pancreatic cancer and was given a few months to live a few months ago. The palliative chemotherapy that he had taken for six weeks to try slowing the spread of his cancer appears to be doing more. The tumors in his spleen are gone, and the dozen tumors in his liver are either stable or shrinking. His doctor said that 85% of patients in Randy’s situation show NO response with these drugs. Randy looks to be in the fortunate 15% who are showing a response and his response seems remarkable. As other cancer survivors, physicians, and caretakers have reminded me over the past two years, each of us is really a statistic of one or zero, we either make it or we don’t. With Randy gaining several extra months of healthy life, he is now eligible for other, more experimental, treatments. His doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) are looking into other chemotherapy drugs and a custom vaccine made from his own cancer cells. Randy continues to have a positive outlook, but not in a Pollyannaish way. As Randy’s story continues, I’ll be sure to provide an update. He is now a beacon of hope for other cancer patients. And, to emphasize one more important point, a custom cancer vaccine from one’s own tumor cells, how cool is that? Yet another recent development in the fight of this killer disease.


justme519 said...

Dear Ed,
I just wanted to stop by and wish you and your loved ones a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Thinking of you and praying for you always,

justme519 said...

I hope that your treatment goes well today. Praying a little extra today. Tanya