Before I write about how I’m been doing the past day or two, here’s the mainstream Florida’s media’s perception of yesterday’s feature, daratumumab:
Multiple myeloma sufferers given new hope with ‘wonder drug’
August 12, 2015 – 693 NewsTalk, Melbourne, Australia
A breakthrough drug is providing “unprecedented results” and giving new hope for patients with a rare blood cancer.
The drug, Daratumumab, is being tried on patients with multiple myeloma at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.
“Everyone develops myeloma or any other cancer due the fact that the immune system can’t recognise the cancer being foreign,” haematologist Dr Hang Quach told Ross and John.
“This particular antibody once in the body binds to the myeloma cells flags to the immune system ‘Hey I’m here come and attack me’.
“That’s basically how it works. It’s really produced quite unprecedented results.”
So far, five out of the 15 patients being treated for the cancer as part of the trial have gone into full remission.
Listen to Dr. Hang Quach’s explanation by clicking on the link below:
Note five out of patients responded. That’s in keeping with the 30% trial response rate I reported on yesterday.
Still, if you’re one of the lucky 30%–or this number significantly increases when daratumumab is combined in combinations researchers are just starting to play with. Very encouraging!
It will take a bit of luck (what if you aren’t one of the 5 out of 15?), but maybe daratumumab signals a C change in myeloma therapy–that researchers are finally getting the hang of working with immunotherapy agents. Next step; develop another drug, or series of drugs, with broader coverage. These targeted agents seem to cause far fewer side effects.
Last night my dear friend, Dianna, picked me up and propped me up so I could attend the monthly support group meeting in Jacksonville. I felt I needed to go; so many from the group had been so supportive during my Iowa City ordeal. It was uplifting to see everyone. I ran out of gas near the end, but the visit was amazing.
And I needed it. I had been down for most of the day. Seems it suddenly hit me: I’d be taking heavy duty maintenance the rest of my life. No messing around, no passes at this point. A large tumor at the base of my skull, and an even larger one in my left femur is forcing me to keep it real.
I have a pretty good feel for my body after almost 8 bone ravaged years of myeloma fun. If the half dozen new lesions that showed up on my PET scan and brain MRI the week before my transplant were active I think I’d feel it. I did feel a lot in and around the transplant. Headaches, stingers going up and down my spine. Sore ribs and a sore upper left leg were stark reminders of why I had decided to make such a toxic and controversial therapy choice.
Uncomfortable and upset, I decided the pain was the death screams of those hated myeloma cells. That, and/or the extreme inflammation in my body during engraftment.
For whatever reason, the pain slowly slipped away as my numbers rose and I began to feel like a human again. Thank God! It’s hard enough making it through a tough procedure like this without enduring chronic pain and discomfort.
So I leave for testing in Iowa City with a bounce in my step and positive energy in my steps; We’ll have a better idea about how well I’m doing in three weeks.
So far, so good!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat