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Immunochemotherapies

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

My wife's CTs show stable or disappearing features, one lung nodule disappeared in April, a "liver cyst" disappeared in September. The 2nd surgeon removed the leftover conglomerated para-aortic nodes in May and said, "chemo forever". She's been adding immunotherapies since diagnosis over a year and a half ago, UFT (5FU) chemo added 6 weeks after 1st surgery. The hope is that we can dissolve or remove everything, rev up the immuno- part, and drop the chemo in another year or two.

One of the problems with any long term chemo is that the stuff loses it's killing power. The other is that erosion of immune functions, even for the "nicest" chemo (daily uracil-tegafur, UFT, not USFDA approved but is in UK, Europe and Asia, taken with PSK).

I've bifurcated monitoring chemo performance into two parts, node killing power and "birth control" of new mets. Even if nodes grow, as long as no new mets form, the formula is earning its keep.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

We track UFT(5FU) killing power mostly with the MCV measurement from the CBC blood tests. Some papers discuss MCV for 5FU and Xeloda where a peak with at least 15% increase from baseline is desirable and over 103 was associated with much better survival. Because my wife's MCV started from a low value, she never achieved 103, much less within the typical 4-9 months. Further she peaked once on the lowest UFT dose, and then again back in June after 2nd surgery, sputtering lower since then. Worrisome. Worse she hasn't taken enough PSK-clone to keep her WBC up in the 6-7-8 range (empty stomach issues of timing and harshness, she's under the usually recommended 3 grams per day), where we may have to go higher.

So, we added lots of another betaglucan to her protein shake (not optimal use, best on empty stomach), Biothera's "Beta Wright WGP Immune System Activator" (may be under private labels too). The WBC response is so-so, but the MCV turned around, increased with WGP dose and has hit well over 103 for a second peak value in a row, with new highs, 5 months after the previous peak below 103.

So this time we'll try to drive those WBC back up toward 7-8, kicking in the afterburners on "PSK", with the extra Corilous Super Strength mushroom extract diluted in the protein shake. Pee$$$$$$k....
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One other important immune related item. My wife's vitamin D3 has been near or over 30,000 iu per day all year long. As expected, her latest vitamin D blood test was quite high, over 300 ng/L (>750 nmol/mL). Her calcium is actively monitored and managed, along with phosphorous and other related supplements, and is overseen by our alternatives MD. This treatment requires alert professional level supervision and active calcium management to avoid toxicity.

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

tanstaafl,
What does the MCV value have to to with the killing power of 5FU? Does 5FU use red blood cells somehow? My husband's started out at 81 and after six months is now 91. I am assuming that is progress in the right direction?

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

It's a correlation in the medical literature for some 5FU based monotherapies (5FU/LV, Xeloda) where elevated MCV (mean corpuscular volume) values that are normally considered as macrocytic anemia pathology, are actually desirable. The MCV series shape and peak value are considered potentially informative, a peak 15% higher over baseline is important, a peak over 103 is highly desirable for monotherapy. I'm not sure how FOLFOX, -IRI might apply the correlation since they have the other chemo effects and limits to split the dose over. Need to find 1-2 papers if possible. This is something you should ask the FOLFOX,-IRI sales and service agents for references on, since they're paid the big bucks to be "expert".

Achieving a necessary intensity and keeping the bloodwork together is the art and science of performance tuning. Diet and supplement effects can be measured to create extra chemo range and results.

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