An update about my experiences at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. After my last CT scan and ultrasounds, I was taken off the clinical trial I was on. That consisted of gemcitabine (gemzar) and a drug being developed by a Spanish pharmaceutical company called plitidepsin (or apeldine). The bad news is I have grown a new tumor in my liver - a small one, 1-2cm, near the dome, which luckily is not very dangerous health-wise. For this reason, it is considered that the cancer has "outsmarted" the gemcitabine drug.
The good news, however, is that activity in my lymph system has decreased significantly. Hopefully that will continue to happen and we can get the tumors under control as well as I start up on a new trial.
This new trial is for a drug developed by Abbott Labs in Illinois, named ABT-263 - which I assume is just the research name and if it ever gets to market will be called something different. That drug will be offered with "carbo-taxol" (carboplatin/paclitaxel). I have never heard of paclitaxel. Carboplatin is in the same family of drugs as cisplatin and oxaliplatin (platinum-based drugs).
I'm excited to try out a new treatment. I will be the first patient for this trial at CINJ (others will participate at another institution). But I'm also anxious/fearful of new side effects. I handled the previous drugs very well and now I'm a bit spoiled about feeling "pretty good" on most days. But I do this not only for myself, but for every person who has come before me, and those who will come after - - advancing medical science's knowledge of how these things work. They may not save me, but they may help someone else.
FYI - These are both phase 1 trials so it will be quite a few years before the drugs are available to the general public. But if anyone in NJ wants info on CINJ re: these trials, you can call them at 732-235-6777. Dr. Vassiliki Karantza-Wadsworth is overseeing the trial.