Monday, December 29, 2008


Starting to get -- excited isn't quite the word -- but I'm getting something about going down to New York at the end of the week and beginning my pre-screening (CT, blood, EKG) for the brivanib trial. As I've whined to L. more than once, not being in treatment when you know your tumors are growing really stinks.

I had hoped to post something smart about why brivanib might work and how it takes a different angle on things than the drugs I've already had, but somewhere in the haze of VEGFR and FGFR I lost confidence in my ability to figure out what the hell they are talking about and communicate it lucidly. So we'll stick with the basics: Tumors need blood, brivanib hopefully kills the vessels that feed them. This can cause a variety of nasty side effects --including high blood pressure, which I'm already on the verge of struggling with because one of my kidneys is swollen and sending my body all the wrong hormones, but it's all good. I'll deal with whatever I have to deal with when it happens.

In encouraging anecdotal news, I see that Elsa achieved stable disease (retroperitoneal sarcoma) after I believe six weeks on the trial, as did a friend of hers and as did another sarcoma blogger. Michelle of Peace, Love, Cancer describes it this way (I was particularly struck by the "walking zombie" side effect part -- Dr. BT didn't mention that!):
My Scans came back with wonderful results. The Brivanib pills are working! My tumors are stable and haven't grown since my last scan! One tumor in my lymph node has actually died! There is no blood flow to the tumor! This is the best news I could get. My doctor is so happy with these results.

I will be on the pills for 12 weeks. After that I will be given either a Placebo or continue on the pills. Because it is a trial it's a 50, 50 shot that I could get the Placebo. Booooo! I will know right away by how I am feeling. The reaction happens within 15 minutes after I take the pills. I am a walking zombie. If I do get the Placebo, I can then go back on the trial.


Elsa D. said...

GOOD LUCK! I´ll keep my fingers crossed.

Bill said...

We are all thinking of you.

SG said...

Hey Elsa, so nice to see you here. I hope you're feeling OK. I would be very curious to hear anything you have to say about how the brivanib experience is going in terms of side effects, etc...

Elsa D. said...

I take it at night, before going to sleep, because during the day it knocked me out completely, so we switched the time. I am doing very well on it, no major side effect. Compared to other drugs I have taken it is a really nice to be on! Initially I was tired and sleepy and spaced-out but since I take it at night now I do not feel a thing.
wishing you shrinkage of tumors,