Renal Cell Live!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping On Keeping On

Sorry for dearth of postings. Things are settled into a routine for now, with many wishes that this will continue. I had my evaluation tests for Round 5 on November 20, and was passed on to participate in Round 6; I'm now two treatments into Round 6, and will finish up the year with evaluations on December 30.

So far the results continue as before: the liver lesions continue to shrink, and the lesion in my right lung continues to grow. In April, when I signed on for the clinical trial, the lung lesion stood at 2.7 cm in size. On November 20 it had reached 5.4 cm in size. Dr. G delivered this news with a wry smile and a comment, "I can see that you are going to keep presenting us with challenges. What am I to do with you, with only one site showing activity?"

What he had to say next was very unexpected: "I think we might want to look into radio frequency ablation. You brought it up some time ago when we were faced with liver lesions and, while I'm not a great believer in RFA, I think we could make a good case for it for you. It's good for single site tumors, it works well with the lung, and it's a good choice for those who might not do well under standard surgical procedures. We've already discussed that; I think you present too many potential morbidities to be a good surgical candidate. So, they may just tell me I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but we might as well ask. Who knows, there might be a chance for you to go several additional years without further incidents, if we were able to pursue it."

To this point, as I've been undergoing successive drug therapies, the decision has been between Dr. G, Saint H, and me. I don't know what such pursuit entails; I know from some of my fellow Cleveland Clinic patients that their cases have undergone an internal review when other treatments are being considered. I don't know what timeline we're looking at - do we wait to see how long I can stay on the clinical trial before we even start asking? Do we pursue other drug treatments before surgery is considered?

Until I hear more, I will just continue with the clinical trial and hope that we keep on getting reasonable results.

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