This morning Katie and I were still feeling dissatisfied with our visit to the oncology clinic yesterday so I rang my oncologist and asked if a radiologist could re-evaluate my last scan today. The oncologist arranged for this to be done and I had a call this afternoon to give me the results. The comparison between my scan of two weeks back to my scan from January shows that the tumours in my liver have grown; it also picked up some suspect growths in my lungs. Sarcoma often spreads to the lungs so it was likely that this would happen at some point.
My oncologist concludes from this that my cancer is not
responding to the Doxorubicin and as a result we’ve cancelled the chemotherapy
I had scheduled for Monday. The plan now is that I will start on a new
chemotherapy regime using a drug called Trabectedin
(also known as Yondelis). Trabectedin is based on a molecule first identified
in a sea squirt found on reefs in the West Indies though that molecule is now
chemically synthesised for use in the drug. Clinical trials show that Trabectedin
delivers clinical benefit to between 30% and 50% of patients who receive it.
Clinical benefit means that the patient's cancer shrinks or, more
commonly, stops growing for a few weeks or months.
I will have at least two weeks off treatment now to make sure
that I am fully over the effects of the last chemotherapy, so I expect to start
on the new regime sometime around mid-May (three or four weeks from now).
In the spirit of the name of this blog and just to remind
myself of the season here’s a photo I took last year on a visit to Cricklade
North Meadow. We're planning on visiting again this Sunday to see the rare
Snakes Head Fritillaries in flower.