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Another Perspective

A brief Update on my Health

I haven’t been blogging because I was putting all of my energy into Hangtown II. Then about March/April my CLL fired up. I was hoping for a minimum of two years of “normal” life, but got just one. Fatigue, night sweats, weight loss increased. My blood lab numbers reflected the renewed activity of the CLL, but not all that much.
When a vicious bout of sinusitis set in, my oncologist said it’s time for a new round of treatment.
Beginning Monday, June 20th I will enter a new trial study of two drugs: Obinutuzumab (Gazyva) and Duvelisib (IPI-145). CLL is a clever and resilient disease. It finds a way to get around whatever medication has been applied to it and resumes its destructive behavior. This is why clinicians are using two drug combinations to attack the disease. In this case, the Duvelisib blocks an enzyme called P13 kinase that is overproduced in blood cancers. It is believed this enzyme is responsible for fueling the growth of the cancer. I will receive this drug in pill form. It is NOT chemotherapy, but a targeted medication designed to attack a specific function in the cancer cells.
With Duvelisib stopping the growth of the malignant B cells, Gazyva comes along and binds itself to the cells and kills them. Gazyva is a monoclonal antibody. The last trial study I participated in involved Gazyva and I did very well on the drug. I have to receive it through infusions over a period of six months. The Duvelisib I will take orally for up to two years.
The study is designed to discover how well these two drugs work together, how and why my cancer cells respond to these drugs, and what side effects may occur.
There is good reason to be optimistic about this approach.
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