Friday, January 4, 2008

Chemo Cycle 9 Round 2 Update

Happy and Healthy New Year 2008!

I haven’t written lately because nothing much is happening right now with my cancer. I had chemo yesterday, Avastin. It is infused via IV every three weeks. It only took three tries to get an IV going yesterday. I was in a pretty good mood, so it didn’t hurt much. I am continuing with my daily chemo pill, Tarceva. This chemo cocktail will continue for 6 to 12 months or until I can’t tolerate it.

We are still working on approval of a drug not yet ready for prime time, but these things take awhile. It’s a complicated and political process. From the drug company’s perspective, they have spent $100s of million (maybe more) developing this drug and running clinical trials. There are 27 active trials across 20 countries involving over 2,000 participants at this time. As such, this drug is close to being able to bring to the open market. By close, in drug approval time (like dog years) it is about a human year away from being approved and available for me by prescription from a select number of doctors. From my perspective, it has shown such great promise and provided me with hope for a cure. A few close friends, my doctor, and I have been working to make this drug available to me as an option for treatment on a compassionate use basis from the drug company. This story will continue to unfold over the next month. The bottom line is there is nothing in it for the drug companies to make drugs in this stage of testing (drug trials I, II, and III) available to people who do not qualify for one of their trials. There is only downside to them. They have to report all adverse reactions… from skin rash to death. As such, it’s a delicate balance. I believe that in their hearts, they want to help, but they also have their stockholders to answer to and need to protect their investment. For me, it could mean the difference between life and death.

My current drug regimen attacks cancer cells in much the same way as this new drug. So, if I can tolerate this regimen, it may be the one I stick with even if the new drug is approved. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

All for now. Take care everyone.

1 comment:

allen said...

Please, what is the name of the drug (in 27 trials) that you referred to?