We met with Dennis' doctor today. Some of the news was hard to hear so I'll get that over with first. The tumor has returned at the original location and there is also a small tumor at another location. That was especially difficult to process but it not unusual in this type of cancer.
So for the rest of the news:
There is a test drug that Dennis will start tomorrow. He will also be back on the chemotherapy he had been on before. This new drug (ABT-888) works by enhancing the effectiveness of the chemo. This trial is about to close as it has the number of patients it needs for this phase II trial. We are thankful it was still open.
If this drug does not work for Dennis, there are many other options that will be explored. That was encouraging.
Dennis will have another MRI in eight weeks. Please pray with us that there will be no growth in the tumors. That is the goal in brain cancer. Tumors rarely shrink or go away as the brain does not easily remove dead tissue.
Our doctor had told us this drug has been showing some good results but he was not real specific on what that meant. After we had met with the doctor and Dennis had some blood work done, we were waiting for an elevator to go down to have some lunch at the cafeteria. We ran into the doctor who had done Dennis' radiation. He remembered Dennis and commented on how great he looked. We told him where we were at and he wondered what drug he would be starting. He told us, "We have seen some very good results with that drug." Wow, we felt like God placed him there just to encourage us about where we are heading.
We anticipate that Dennis should do well on these drugs as he handled the chemotherapy well last time. The most possible side effect would be lowering of blood counts which could make bleeding more likely and/or he could be more likely to get infections. They will do blood work every week to keep an eye on these possible side effects.
Please keep praying for Dennis as he starts this new drug. We are discouraged by the regrowth but encouraged by what we were told today. We are thanking God for the good doctors and hospital we have right here in Madison.