CSN Login
Members Online: 18

Personalized testing on tumor for effectiveness of chemo & other therapies

Bee bee
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 2013

I am stage IIIB rectal cancer, 5 lymph nodes involved. i recently finished chemo/rad and am going to have surgery to remove the tumor in the beginning of Nov.

I am seriously considering having my tumor tested for chemo effectiveness by Rational Therapeutics (Dr. Nagourney) in Long Beach, CA and would appreciate input if any of you have tried this. 

The science makes sense to me but I'm no scientist. Basically, they test your actual live tumor against a wide range of chemo, including herbal remedies if requested, to see if any will actually be effective in killing the cancer cells, or if your cancer is resistant.  

i posted before that my dad died of cancer shortly before my diagnosis and had I known about this back then, we would have done it for him as he was stage IV. He tried four different chemo regimens and none worked for him. It was so painful and disheartening to see him as a sort of human chemo guinea pig.

i learned a lot thru his experience and don't want the same for myself. But I am wondering if it is worth it as I am stage III. The timing seems right as my upcoming surgery may be the best chance to get sufficient live tumor and before I start the dreaded Folfox. 

i will contact them with questions soon so if there are any you think I should ask, please let me know. I would really appreciate input from any of you who are scientifically oriented too. I believe Tanstaafl mentioned them on a previous post but I don't know the outcome. Thanks!!!

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 970
Joined: Oct 2010

My wife is doing great, not merely a survivor - she's never chemo sick and has full daily activity.  We technically prefer UFT-LV to xeloda for her low tumor residues, our actual choice for stage III and her IV colon cancer residues.  However this tegafur uracil (UFT) oral chemo that she uses is not available in North America, actually cited as too nice by the FDA.  We used both tumor tissue antibody staining (for things like CA19-9, COX2, CSLEX1 as recommended by Life Extension Foundation), and the live tissue kill testing.  My wife well benefited from both sets of data.    If Drs Nagourney or Weisenthal, will find a cooperative pathologist with the antibody stains, the graded tumor tissue stains should be something like $130-$300 per stain.

I could tell from her elevated, presurgical blood tests for CEA and CA19-9 that she was likely to benefit greatly from the cimetidine, and max dosed it.  The tissue antibody stains pretty much removed any doubt for me, based on Matsumoto (2002) and other papers.  Her mets overexpressed the common mCRC killer biomarkers suggested by LEF Extension Foundation (based on the molecular phenotypes rather than genotype).    

The kill tests suggested that ordinary chemo combinations (5FU, irinotecan, oxilaplatin, gemcitabine) were insufficient but alternative additions could make 5FU-LV work.   Her subsequent blood tests and scans support this success too. 

The Japanese often treat stage III or II with a year of UFT and PSK.  The CA19-9 etc, cimetidine connection is solid research that has no advertiser.

Bee bee
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 2013

Your info is extremely helpful but i have to admit, very scientific so it's a little over my head.

Is my understanding correct that your wife did benefit from live tissue kill testing but it sounds like you did not do it thru Drs. Nagourney or Weisenthal? But you agree with the approach, yes? 

I also ask because Kathleen808 also recently posted for info on this and any additional light you or others can shed on this would be helpful.  

 

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 970
Joined: Oct 2010

Yes, I agree with both approaches, particularly for advanced cancer.  For stage II and III, I could be fairly happy with the CA19-9, COX2 stains to decide on adjuncts like cimetidine and COX2 inhibitors.  I initially temporized with the CA19-9 and CEA blood data.

However, stage IV or mCRC is too often a rude surprise around surgery so live tissue testing may be an investment since there will be no time for decisions at surgery to start the needed live sample shipment to Drs Nagourny or Weisenthal.   Also I am not sure as to which samples they will want with the irradiation changing things, you need to talk with their staff.

Coppercent
Posts: 143
Joined: Jan 2012

All the scientific technical stuff is way over my head but I thought our different bodies metabolized drugs differently. How would this change the affectiveness of the testing? 

Bee bee
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 2013

if you are interested, check out their website. I don't want to mistakenly summarize the science. My understanding is that insteading of testing for genetics or growing/propagating cancer cells in a lab environment, they are testing on your live tumor including its native microenvironment.

coloCan
Posts: 1850
Joined: Oct 2009

www.newswise.com/articles/view/607619/?sc=dwhn

Also,site cancernetwork.com had an article in Aug entitled "Use of Molecular Biomarkers to Inform Adjuvant Therapy for Colon Cancer."

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network