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clinical trial

katienavs's picture
katienavs
Posts: 88
Joined: Nov 2006

I mentioned in my post below that I took part in a clinical trial after the completion of my standard treatment (chemo, radiation, surgery, more chemo). Some of you asked to hear more about it so I thought I would summarize it here.

The trial is based out of Duke University but there are twelve participating hospitals across the country. I had to frequently fly up to Providence Hospital in Portland, Oregon to participate.

Patients who can participate are those with liver metastases who had succesful liver resection within the past six months and recently finished chemotherapy.

It is an immunotherapy trial utilizing a vaccine. It uses a vaccine called PANVAC-V and PANVAC-F; they are basically derivatives of the smallpox vaccine. They attach CEA antigens to the vaccine in hopes that the patients white blood cells will recognize that CEA (the protein present in many colon cancer cells) and kill it. The goal is then that the patients' white blood cells would later recognize the CEA in recurrent cancer cells and similarly kill those cells.

So what I had to do was get four monthly injections of the vaccine coupled with my own white blood cells that they previously took out and matured in a lab through a process called leukopheresis. I completed those injections back in October and now just have to get a CT scan every three months.

I was really excited about participating in the trial because as happy as I was to be done with chemo I wasn't ready to give up my fight and I felt like I was doing as much as possible by participating in the trial. Let's hope it's working!

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I think you're very brave. I hope it works like a charm!

Gail

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