Monday, September 24, 2007

The Waiting Game

On September 12th, Tyler had a bone marrow extraction to provide samples for testing at the next level of remission. The bone marrow extraction can be quite painful despite the local anesthetics used. Basically the doctor sticks a needle into Ty's sternum and exerts pressure to suck some of the bone marrow back into a waiting vacuum tube.

Tyler did great in terms of facing the expected pain and actually said that this time was easier than the time they took his marrow in the hospital. The doctor explained to us that this is normal for many leukemia patients. At diagnosis, their marrow is so packed with extra white blood cells that it doesn't release as easily as healthy marrow should. The fact that it was easier this time is an indication that Tyler's health has improved.

Unfortunately, we are now playing the waiting game for the results. We have another appointment scheduled for October 8th to get the results from the bone marrow testing. In the meantime, we wait...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Drugs on the Horizon

More about Gleevec
This comes from a mailing list I belong to, but is interesting in terms of the drugs to watch for over the next decade:
It's hard to believe how far we've come in CML treatment in just 10 years. To think that 10 years ago, we had little to hope for other than the horrors of Interferon but now the number of drugs that are being developed to treat CML is at a point where it's actually hard to keep up with all the information.

In case any of you are interested in learning more about the drugs that are being investigated. Here is a list of a few that I was able to find.

1) Sprycel. This drug is now approved in many countries and is also known as Dasatinib or "the BMS drug". It's a dual bcr-abl and Src inhibitor and many of our list members are already taking it.

2) Tasigna. This is widely available in trials around the world and is also known as AMN 107 or Nilotinib. It's a bcr-abl inhibitor much like Gleevec but more potent and again, a number of our list members are already taking it.

3) Bosutinib. This is another drug that is being used in trials around the world and is also known as SKI 606. It's a dual bcr-abl and src inhibitor.

4) INNO-406. This is a Bcr-Abl and Lyn-kinase inhibitor that is available at some of the bigger trial centers.

5) MK-0457. This is a drug that is being used to treat people with the dreaded T315I mutation. It's an aurora kinase inhibitor.

6) Homoharringtonine or HHT is actually an older drug that is also being used in various trials for the T315I mutation.

7) KW-2449 is an aurora kinase inhibitor that I don't know much about other than it's being trialed in a few of the bigger centers.

8) Lonafarnib is a farnesyl transferase inhibitor being used in some trial centers.

9) GX15-07MS is a drug that is being used in some centers for blast phase CML.

10) ON012380 is a drug that is supposed to be 10 times more potent than Gleevec and is being trialled in some Gleevec resistant patients.

I'm sure there are even more drugs out there in the pipe line that I've forgotten to mention but as you can see, we're living in very exciting times.

Here's a great website that lists some of the drug trials that are being done at MD Anderson if anyone wants to check them out further:

And this site gives a brief summary of the Abl and Src inhibitors.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hardworking Staff and Sunday Updates

Tyler got a call today from his oncology nurse. She says the doctor responded to Ty's test results via e-mail at 1am on Sunday -- that's dedication!

Anyways... The news is that we are going for the bone marrow aspiration this week as planned. It'll be a tough test for him, I think, but a good step in his treatment.

Wish us luck on Wednesday afternoon!


Friday, September 7, 2007

I am sorry to report that my results are a mixed bag at this point. My doctor is apparently on vacation this week in Montana, and they havnt been able to get him on email to look at the results. My main nurse has talked to me briefly about my results, telling me that one of the markers on my test had improved, and a couple others had remained the same. From what I heard from our conversation is that I have improved since my last test, but we arent sure if its enough for me to advance to the next stage of remission.

The conclusion from my conversation with her is that we will need to wait to hear from Dr. McGee before I will know if I am able to do my bone marrow aspiration next wednesday. I may find out later today or possibly monday.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thanks for asking about Tyler's test results last week. They took an extra tube of blood from him at his doctor's visit on August 27th, but we are still waiting on the results of the BCR-Abl test.

We have a bone marrow aspiration tentatively scheduled for September 12th, but will try to post results to the blog as soon as we have them.

By the way, we are requesting a Gold Balloon to carry in honor of Cathy Frank. Thanks, Bill, for sharing your story with me. We're proud to be able to honor your daughter with a special balloon for those lost to the disease!

Thanks so much for all of your support!