Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good News!

After having my doctor's evaluation today that is required before starting cycle 5, the next to the last cycle of standard chemo, I am officially two/thirds of the way finished with the standard chemo portion of this experience. I start cycle 5 on Monday and then have only 6 weeks of chemo left to go!

Excellent, I am ready for this to be done and for the fatigue to begin to receede. It might help if it would warm up outside. The temperatures keep hovering in the 20s. (OK you folks in Minnesota. I heard that snicker. All I can say is in this neck of the woods that is really really really cold. Just ask my dogs.)

But here is the really good news. Today one of you forwarded to me 2 press releases from Roche and Genetech. Both reported that the results of a Gynecological Oncology Group trial prior to my own (GOG-218) show a definite survival advantage to receiving Avastin! Avastin is the experimental drug that I enrolled in my own study to receive, and the reason I am driving to Gainesville, GA for treatment instead of more conveniently recieving it right here in Atlanta.

The trial GOG-218 divided women into 3 groups. All three groups got standard chemotherapy using the same 2 drugs I am getting (Taxol, my flower-power drug and carboplatin or a similar drug). In addition the first group got a placebo (fake drug) during and for about a year afterwards. The second group got Avastin with the chemo therapy, then got the placebo fake drug for the year afterward. And the third group got Avastin during chemo and for the year afterwards. The third group had a better outcome (defined as longer progression-free survival - survival without evidence of progresion of the cancer).

This is very good news for me. My own trial divids women into 3 groups, each of whom get a different variation on standard chemotherapy, but all of which get Avastin wiht the chemo and for a year afterward.

YEAH! VAlidation that it was worthwhile to drive to Gainesville for chemo and to enter this clinical trial.

The dogs are very happy. So am I.

This is a press release from the company that sells the drug, but the scientific data is scheduled to be presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Clinical Oncology in June, which is where all the professional oncologists go to catch up on the latest data.

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