Cancer log 43: So,…

Cancer log 43:

So, yesterday I had additional biopsies; the one on the right breast came back negative, so that side is all clear, hooray. The one on the left was positive, which means that there's cancer in two different areas of that breast. Not great news. (Not terrible either, but it would've been nice if not. Oh well.)

The upshot of this is that I've been offered a potential spot in a clinical trial, if my next biopsy results qualify me (they'd be taking a fresh sample, freezing it, and sending it to California for a different test). If I did the trial, it'd mean three additional MRIs, two additional biopsies, and four additional blood draws. Annoying, but manageable.

In terms of actual treatment, it means that I'd get the standard of care treatment + an additional agent (which might be extra-helpful). There are apparently four different options they're testing, so I'd be randomized into one of those four groups. The trial is called I-Spy 2, and the website with full details is here: http://www.ispy2.org

I need to decide by Monday morning (well, I don't have to, but the sooner, the better). My inclination is to go ahead and see if I qualify for the trial (after all, it's good for SCIENCE!, and it might be good for me too), and then go ahead with it, but we're going to ponder it for the weekend, consult with all the doctors in the family, etc.

One thought on “Cancer log 43: So,…”

  1. A couple of the less obvious things to include in your pondering:

    1) How much delay would the application process for the trial take?

    2) What would kick you out of the trial after you start?

    3) Will there be implications regarding my insurance (some insurance will NOT pay for clinical trials, nor any extra tests that are necessitated by them. Also, the insurance company’s idea of what are the extra costs due to the trial and the clinic’s ideas may not be the same).

    4) Would I be prevented from participating in the trial (or getting prescribed the trial drug) later if I started with trad’l treatment now.

    5) Who is running the trial? Is it my doc – in which case there is more knowledge but also bias. Is it another doc? How long has it been running? What do prelim results look like? What are side effects?

    I don’t have an opinion one way or the other and I’m sure your med friends/family can help you ponder better. These are just a couple of the issues which unexpectedly came up when we were trying to get my Dad in a trial. Which he was in for about a week before they kicked him out for … what was it ? I dunno. Some totally typical side effect people with his kind of cancer tended to get.

    Good luck with your pondering and enjoy your gifts. It’s hard to be given that kind of decision to make when you feel time pressure.

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