Nikkie, Congratulations on all fronts; the enrollment in the trial and the upcoming visit with Dr. Kato.
As a research advocate for clinical trials one of the most important issues I address is the safety of patients. Hence I would like to share a few thoughts which should have been addressed by the trial coordinator.
Panitumumab underwent a phase 3 study with KRAS mutation-positive patients. This study proved KRAS mutant patients ineligible for this particular drug. Your Dad does not have this specific mutation hence he is eligible to enter this trial.
I would assume that side effects are closely watched and your informed consent had been explained in detail to you. Just in case though, I would like to add a few comments:
Dermatologic toxicities occurred in 90% of patients and were severe in 16% of this patient group. Given the time of year, sunlight exposure may not be much of an issue however; avoiding UV as much as possible may help reduce some of the expected dermatologic toxicities.
Additionally your Dad’s electrolytes should be periodically monitored during and for 8 weeks after the completion of the trial. And, staying hydrated is of utmost importance. It will be helpful to watch closely your Dad’s fluid intake by making notes of the amount consumed. Gatorade (this is unofficial) has shown to help reduce the electrolyte issues with many of our patients.
Personally I believe that skillful surgeons practice a combination of art and science. Given the complexity of biliary resection some physicians don’t have the expertise, the skill, or they prefer to err on the side of caution whereas others lean heavily toward an aggressive approach. Hence it is important to find a doctor who based on his/her background aligns with the patient’s personal desire of treatment.
Unlike clinical trials which provide us with concrete clinical findings, outcome of successful surgeries and desired cure of the disease (or overall survival) are vague at best and disputable at most.
You are doing everything right, dear Nikki in that you are acquiring the knowledge in order to make an educated decision regarding the treatment of your dear Dad.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER