I went in for a quick blood test this morning and bumped into the oncologist in the reception. She had news for me.
Remember that clinical trial that I was waiting to hear more about? Well, the doctors who’re conducting it here have suddenly become organised. This morning, they picked up my file and 2 others’ who’re being put forward as possible candidates. She didn’t know much more but said we should hear within a day. Yeah, yeah, I know how these things go so I was pleased to hear that something’s happened but was not going to hold my breath.
There was no waiting.
This afternoon, someone called me about the trial. I’m going in on Friday to sign a consent form (if I agree). Then I have a battery of blood tests, a CT scan, and a tumour tissue sample gets sent to the USA for testing against whatever criteria specifically for this PDL1 drug (I love that it’s called a “programmed death” drug – sounds very Avengers!):
“Under normal conditions, programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) plays an important role in maintaining immune homeostasis. PD-L1 and PD-L2 bind to specific receptors on T cells. When bound to their receptors, cytotoxic T-cell activity is downregulated, thereby protecting normal cells from collateral damage.”
For now, I know that it’s an immunotherapy – not chemotherapy – drug and that…
I’m a potential candidate because:
1) I have a serous tumour rather than a mucinous one. (Don’t ask me. I’m not the specialist but I did find this piece)
I refuse to share the source because they’re mean and want a sign-up before giving up any more free info on cruddy diseases!
2) I had tumour debulking before having chemo (sometimes this happens the other way around) and,
3) I’ve not had chemo in the last 6 – 8 weeks. (I can hardly believe it’s been 10 months.)
The rush is that the trial’s being closed at the end of July – they have to end some or other time – and they want to make sure that they get whichever candidates through the assessment process and starting the trial before it’s too late.
There’s more to find out on Friday but I already know I’ll sign the paperwork. One thing I’ll never ever sign up for again is chemo. The damage it wreaks is just not worth it.