Day 29- 10/11/06, A couple of days ago, Dee noticed two new growths on my back. Iwas hoping for the best. Anyway, we got confirmation from the Hillman Center that it is 2 new tumors growing. This really stinks. I think it is time to take out the “Weed be Gone”. This is not what I was hoping to hear. It was decided that the CTLA-4 blockage therapy was to be terminated. My CD4+T cells were just about at maximum propagation.
Dr. Kirkwood, decided that the next line of defense would be Interleukin-2 (IL-2).
Results of early PROLEUKIN® IL-2 Clinical Trials
Year received FDA Approval 1998
Number of Patients 270 patientsNumber of Trials 8
Response In 16% of the patients, tumors shrank or disappeared as a result of PROLEUKIN® IL-2 therapy.
In 6% of the patients, the tumors disappeared completely.
Results From these trials, it was determined that a patient whose tumors completely disappeared from the treatment remained cancer-free for a median of 4.9 years.
I needed to washout the CTLA-4 blockage and have some test run before I would be accepted into the next trial. We know from the PK studies that it would take 42 days to eliminate the antibodies from my system.
Day 43-10/25/06, I got the results back from the Scans and it wasn’t good. The cancer is spreading in my lungs quite rapidly according to the CT scans. There are now over 40+ nodules ranging from 15 mm down to <>Day 50- 11/1/06, the first cycle of High dose Interleukin-2 (IL-2). It just so happen to be the maximum propagation of the CD8+ T cells. All of the anti-CTLA-4 is washed out. We also, most likely have the most CD4+ T reg cells. These are the cells that help regulate the immune response so it doesn’t go into overdrive and cause an autoimmune response.
If we reset the clock for the second therapy (LI-2), then we can follow the activation of the CD8+ T-cells. My body has become a big Erlenmeyer flask. Erlenmeyer flasks are used in microbiology for the preparation of microbial cultures.
So on day 50- 11/1/06, we innocuated my body with IL-2 – a growth factor. So based on the Itoh study, I should be activating the CD8+ T-cells into a mature state (TILs and LAK cells.) It should take roughly 50 days they would be at there maximum growth phase.
In Itoh’s study the cultures were supplemented every 5 days by replacing half the cultured medium with fresh medium containing (IL-2) as one of the supplements. My IL-2 additions were every 21 days. (Need the dose Information)
On 78th day 11/29/06, the second cycle of IL-2 was administered. It was pushed back a week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. I completed 8 doses which is the average that patients can withstand.
On day 93 12/14/06, I had another CT scan. I am trying to recover between cycles.
On day 98 12/19/06 we got the CT Scan Results: What a Christmas Present!!!!!! The tumors were shrinking!!!!!!!
I'm Christmas shopping.....but Heather called me with the results....I AM SOOOOO HAPPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPPPEEEEEE!!!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I'll see you soon :) :) :) :) Melissa
As you can see, the timing and the players of this Orchestration all fell into place. A single Bullet of Monoclonal antibodies started the whole sequence of events which lead to the restarting of my immune system. Without that bullet, there would have been no "Danger Signal"
"Melanoma and the Magic Bullet (Monoclonal Antibodies)"
This is dedicated to Leanne Schmall who lost the fight to the Beast, Melanoma