Topic: Post-resection chemotherapy trial
Anyone who has read my previous postings will be aware that I was diagnosed with intra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma in July 2006 and underwent partial resection of the right lobe in August. Recovery was very good but, in line with generally accepted treatment, I received no chemotherapy. I had a first post-op CT scan in February 2007 and this showed 6 lesions on the right lobe and a subsequent PET scan confirmed these as being the only cancerous cells. On 28 March the whole of my right lobe was removed and again I have made a good recovery.
This time I was referred to the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow where I learned about a new clinical trial starting in the UK. This trial is called BILCAP and is a research trial evaluating chemotherapy in patients following surgery for biliary tract cancer. Funding is from the Cancer Research UK charity and is being run by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Centre in Birmingham, UK. The aim is to see how effective chemotherapy is in treating the disease after surgery. The drug being used is Xeloda.
360 suitable people will be invited to take part in the trial. A computer will randomly select 50% to receive the Xeloda and the other 50% will receive nothing. The Xeloda will be taken over a period of 24 weeks. Both groups will have regular hospital check-ups and scans and the follow-up period for the study will last for 5 years. The fortunes of both groups will be compared during this period to see if there has been any significant difference.
I am very pleased that I have been selected for this trial and am in the group who will receive the Xeloda. I started taking it today (2,650mg twice a day) and so far so good. My view is that I have nothing to lose but everything to gain. If the Xeloda does not work, or if I have to stop taking it, then at least I have tried something positive and am not just sitting about waiting for the next CT scan. But if it does work then, hopefully, I will be around in 5 years time when it is given as standard treatment and be able to think that I contributed to that breakthrough.
All the best.