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Updates, ctDNA and more vaccine speculation

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 265
Joined: Nov 2019

I remember in the earlier days of the Internet on a (non cancer related) message board like this there was a guy whose username was "Updates" and he never posted anything personal or funny or anything like he was a newsbot. Just thinking about that makes me grin and probably no one else (except those people who remember him).

My tumors are shrinking. Somewhere around 20% after 3 cycles. This is supposed to be really good. My CEA had dropped by half but its staying the same at the moment. It doesn't sound really good TBH.

Do you all ever get the feeling your doc has started to write you off? I'm pretty sure my onc is no longer thinking cure but doesn't want to say it. She was somewhat surprised that the chemo was working.

Or is it working? I could have seen all the shrinking it's going to do. Well, another scan in 3 months, we will see. We will consult with the surgeon...and well if they aren't interested in that option I might move on.

Also, something strange happened, my hair has started growing back even though I'm still on FOLFIRI.

 

Are you all familiar with ctDNA tests? Has anyone ever had one or been recommended to have one? If you have not heard, it is a circulating DNA test that is supposed to be able to track residual cancer cells in the bloodstream.

The investors are still excited about mRNA and cancer vaccines, though I read this article that is a little less optimistic than the lead researchers at the pharmaceutical companies. I'd also read similar skepticism about vaccines, given the "chaotic environment" around cancer cells. According to the people at Biontech we are still on a two-year wait Smile

 

BerniceOB
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2021

I don't have any information on the mRNA and cancer vaccines but what it has given me is hope.  I have read every article that I could about the owners of BioNtech and truly believe that there will be some positive outcomes on the current ongoing trials.  I've read some positive outcomes on some of their trials related to skin cancer which had metastasized.  I believe that we will see some positive outcomes also for colorectal cancer.  I wish that I could give you some more concrete information but I wanted you to know that I also have hope and I feel very strongly about these vaccines in our near future.  The owners of BioNtech have re-invested a lot of their own money into pursuing the cancer vaccines so this tells me they do believe in their research.  :)

 

I've only heard about the ctDNA test but do not know anyone who has had one.  I will be looking into this and will update you if we are able to get one done.  We are from Canada so it may not be as easy for us to get a test done but we will look into it.

 

Just as an update, my husband is fighting stage 4 colorectal cancer with a MET to the liver.  We have now completed chemo and radiation therapy.  He will be going in for colostomy surgery in September so I am the caregiver.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

sreekanth
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2017

Bernice, 
Good luck to you and your husband.

I had a colorectal primary which metastasized to lungs in 2019. 
Now in 2021, my CEA is rising and we do not know yet what to treat.

You are on the right path to cure. All the best

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 265
Joined: Nov 2019

They are holding a trial for one of the vaccines in my city but I don't know about my eligibility. I'm going to try and get on a list if I can. Good luck to your husband.

BerniceOB
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2021

Good Luck!  If you get in the trial I hope that you can update us at some point.  Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

 

Bernice

Tueffel's picture
Tueffel
Posts: 312
Joined: Feb 2020

My dads hair is also growing back. I thought it wouldnt but now he has some fine hair on his scalp. Still not normal and Papa does not care but the complete lack of hair looked like the ones from a cancer patient. Now he just looks old. Strange thing...

I just read for another cancer type about metastasis. Mets are sometimes really different, acting like stem cells. In this type of cancer, scientist will look now how they can act on these cells, turn them off.

I read your article. I really got scared to read that the biontech one will work after surgery. So again we still need surgery. 

As for the mRNA technology. We would say it is still in childrens shoes. The DNA/RNA part of medicine is still so new especially in medicine. I think it was just 20 years ago that they managed to analyze a human DNA quickly. I do think it has potential, a potential we dont even know yet, but the way till there is still unknown. The good thing is: due to the success of the MRNA vaccines a lot of money will go into this research esoecially for cancer. The big pharma companies are now starting their labs for this part. Soon, there will be huge competition between the companies. If it will help, I dont know. I hope for everyone here and my dad. But I know that medicine again will be different in 40 years, or even in 10.

20% after 3 cycles is very good. But I do understand you. You want them to go away completely or to have it somewhere going for cure. I dont know what your oncologist thinks but tbh oncology is one of the most unpredictable things in medicine. Who says it wont go away? I do hope so. I am positive that there are these cases. Let us hope for it.

Tueffel

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 265
Joined: Nov 2019

I've read minoxidil speeds up regrowth but I don't know if your father's condition would prohibit it. My hair that is growing back is more fine than normal but that should change. It's something, a win is a win, like my minor shrinkage. I wish the article had asked the researchers why they believed that an antibody based vaccine would work best after surgery. Sounds like speculation that it would be easier if there were no solid tumors.

BerniceOB
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2021

Back in January, February, I did a lot of research on mRNA cancer vaccines and I found some information that indicated that in the earlier trials the mRNA vaccine shrunk the tumor but did not get rid of it completely.  Within I think it was 30 days or so the tumors started to grow again.  Therefore, instead of applying for approval for new trials they decided to continue on with their trials for after surgery.  

It was my understanding from what I read that they feel that the vaccine will work in combination with surgery and this will cure the patient with the expectation of no recurrences.  I don't think that it is off the table for targeting full tumors in the future but I think that they are trying to get their vaccines out as fast as possible.  

Bernice

Tueffel's picture
Tueffel
Posts: 312
Joined: Feb 2020

30 days while on treatment or was the effect only for 30 days? In whole not encouraging news tbh. But I know that sounds hopeful and naïve again, we need to remind ourselves that these are possible drugs of the first generation. A good example is the anti baby pill how that one changed tge last 60 years or so. With more research, money etc the use of these drugs might expand as well.

We should hope for this

sgold88
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 2020

Yes - my wife did a liquid biopsy that analyzed her blood stream for cancer. In between her regular CT scan checkups (at 39 yrs old, she was dx 2019 with Stage 3c with liver mets recurring shortly thereafter). She is currently NED. We use these blood tests/liquid biopsies for added piece of mind in between scans just to keep on top of things as much as possible. 

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 585
Joined: Nov 2019

I have done three CTC's and 2 ctDNA's.  Neg results for every test but still have a CEA of 10.4.  

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