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The snot thickens

January 24, 2008

Got up at 10am this morning from the sounds of the phone ringing with a splitting headache and sore muscles and joints. How nice. The walk to the hospital yesterday through a rain storm and havind to spend hours in a cold examination room (without my beloved long johns) have probably worsened my flu.

After a quick breakfast have I started answering e-mail. My today’s objective is to finish draft memo and org chart for others to complete and I have to go to the hospital for a blood check that is overdue. But first a few lines in my blog about an e-mail I just received from an Italian friend who sadly recently lost his spouse to cancer. The topic is DCVax-Brain Cancer Vaccine Enters Clinical Trail.

There are a few things interesting. First of all the article speaks of brain cancer whereas we were told that any cancer in the brain is called a brain tumor. I have to check this. Then there is a description of a vaccine. It appears to be possible to create a kind of individualized vaccine based on two components: (1) tumor cells from the patients’ removed tumor and (2) purified dendritic cells or immune cells from that patient.

The article states that the trial is for patients with a glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV), which belongs to the family of astrocytomas. I’m still not sure what type of glioma I have, my neuro-oncologist and neuro-surgeon continue to say that this will only be known during/after the surgery. However, from all information gathered so far (e.g. Astrocytoma: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment) do I guesstimate that I have a astrocytoma (grade II).  I therefore assume that I do not (yet) qualify for this vaccine. It is definitely worth following up though. I will gather more information and discuss it with my neuro-oncologist. I’ll keep you posted.

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