Clinical Trials – Hubby Update

Last Wednesday Hubby and I went back to MD Anderson for the follow up appointment with Dr. Garrett.

Nothing surprising was reported. The tumors are still growing and are now approximately 3 inches. There are more tiny tumors in the liver and peritoneal area (body cavity).

I have to admit the following sentences made me giggle when I was reading over the lab results.

The spleen is normal. The pancreas is unremarkable.

So why is one organ labeled normal and the other unremarkable? Why aren’t both the spleen and pancreas normal?  Were the doctors trying to not be repetitive in the description and turned to their thesaurus instead?

Anyway, the upshot is that all the FDA approved chemotherapy drugs, in various combinations, are not working. There is a potential drug slated for approval in about 2-3 months that might work according to Dr. Garrett. However, all of us are in agreement with Hubby’s cancer being so aggressive we do not want to go without any treatment for 2-3 months.

Hubby now has a referal to the Phase 1 Clinical Trial group. His appointment is Monday, Sept 24th at noon. MD Anderson has approximately 50 clinical trials going on right now. The doctors in that group are reviewing Hubby’s medical records to see which trial would be a good fit for him. According to the MD Anderson website,

Clinical trials are strictly controlled studies of new drugs, treatments and diagnostic methods on human beings. Participants in clinical trials are the first to benefit from innovative new cancer therapies, and provide valuable data to advance MD Anderson’s mission to eliminate cancer.

Clinical trials are basically experimental in nature. New treatments go through various phases on their way to getting government approval. Phase 1 is the first step after intensive testing in labs and on animals.  Phase 1 trials are handled by MD Anderson’s Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy.

Hopefully there is a trial going on that is a fit for Hubby. There are many many protocols involved in being accepted into a trial study as well as during the trial. We will have more information after our meeting next week.

Other than that, Hubby is doing okay. The neuropathy (numbness) in Hubby’s hands is almost constant now. Hubby is officially out of paid time off at work, both FML and sick time. He tries to make up the hours as much as possible so as not to make such a dent in his paycheck. Now that Charlie is back in school I am picking up hours again at my job.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Thank you for your love and support!


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  1. I’ll be sending good thoughts to you both for a clinical trial that fits.

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  2. Rachael & Chris says

    Glad to hear that they are considering him for a clinical trial.