Monday, May 17, 2010

New Cancer News

Today I had a very informative meeting the the oncologist. Everything is still on track with the chemo - I will start next Monday and it will take me through July. I will be there for 6-8 hours, so I am warming up the I-pod and Kindle. The interesting stuff had to do with an e-mail the doctor had gotten just before I had gotten there.

The e-mail was from the medical team at UW. They had run some tests and confirmed that the cancer was caused by a genetic mutation. It turns out that the tumor was caused by EML4-Alk chromosomal translocation. This is in less than 3% of the people who have non-small cell lung cancer and usually occurs in non-smokers. There is a company who is developing a drug that targets this gene rearrangement.

It is very rare to have this, and the doctor actually laughed when I said, Yeah, I keep telling people I am unique.

This does not change anything for my treatment right now because there is nothing approved by the FDA or in trials in the area right now to treat this, but he did say that if there were a relapse, then there probably be a new treatment that would be beneficial. The way he explained it - chemo is like taking a sledge hammer to kill a bug on the table - you will kill the bug and destroy the table as well. The new therapy would target the bug only and not harm the table.

The doctor agreed with me when I said that the prayer is that the chemo and radiation will work, but if there is a relapse there is a very good Plan B in the works. So, prayers are requested for the power of healing through the chemo and radiation. I will update more later.

1 comment:

Peg said...

Pastor Erik,

Your emotional roller coaster is such a normal reaction for you and for your family. Each bit of news shifts the direction of the track. Every day I pray, along with so many others, that you will be with your family members for all of the key events in their lives because this round of chemo and radiation is successful. I am glad that you have been able to find the blessings that also accompany the discovery and treatment of cancer. I look forward to seeing you at class on Friday.
Peg Ekedahl