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mRNA technology and introducing myself

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2021

Hi everyone,  I'm new here to the forum although I have been reading since December, 2020.  My 50 year old husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in December due to a small MET in the liver.  We found out he had cancer during a colonoscopy on November 17, 2020 and it was staged in December after many tests.  He then started chemotherapy in January.  He has now completed chemo treatment #9 out of 12 treatments and we are in the process of heading back towards surgery.  We have been told that he will have a permanent colostomy bag after his surgery.

Firstly, although I have never really posted in the forum.  I have learned a lot from all of you and I am very thankful for that.  As you all know, going through testing, chemo treatments, and long delays are SO very difficult.  I read through the forum a lot and learned a lot of tips and tricks that helped him throughout his treatments.

I recently read an article about the mRNA technology which indicated that Dr. Van Karlyle Morris, a gastrointestinal oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is part of a team of researchers testing mRNA technology for use in preventing the return of colorectal cancer.  For the Phase 2 clinical trials, which have research support from BioNtech, Morris said they're using mRNA technology to treat cancer that may still be present in the body.  Here is the link to the article.

How the mRNA technology in COVID-19 vaccines could be used to treat cancer and other diseases | CTV News

I've been researching BioNtech quite a bit and the husband and wife scientist behind the company.  They feel very strongly that they may be able to use the mRNA technology to treat certain cancers.  This has given me the most hope that I have had in a long time.  I thought that I would share in case some of you are interested.  

Lastly, my husband is scheduled for his Pfizer vaccine on May 31st.  Have any of you had the Covid 19 vaccine and did you feel okay after getting it?  He had a lot of issues in the begining of his chemo which caused elevated liver enzymes.  His chemo drug was changed from Oxiplatin to Irinotecan and his liver issues stabilized.  I would like him to be protected against Covid but we are so close to the end of his chemo that I worry about him getting the vaccine and having anymore issues.  

thanking you all in advance!



Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

I have had the Pfizer vaccine and had no problems, however I am not in active treatment.

Here is an article from NIH which may provide you some info on the subject:


Best wishes to your dear hubby and you.

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2021

Thank you for the information!  It is VERY helpful!

P.S.  I noticed that your name is Marie who loves kitties.  We are huge cat lovers too!  We have 4 of them at home.  :)

thanks again!

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5458
Joined: Jan 2013

To vaccine or not. 

I cannot help you with your question about the Pfizer vaccine, as I have not yet been vaccinated, and when and if I do, it will be the Moderna.  I have been hesitant, as I have a high risk of blood clots, due to a weak valve. 

I just wanted to welcome you formally to the forum, even though you have been visiting for a while. 

Is your husband going to have liver surgery as well as surgery to remove the tumour in his colon?  I had a small - relative term, I guess - liver tumour that was ablated. I am Stage IV, seven years NED (No Evidence of Disease), so I wish the same for your man. 


Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2021

My husband was supposed to get liver surgery at the same time as the ostomy surgery.  However as the test results kept coming in, the decision was made that he should start chemotherapy first as they were concerned about some inflammation that they could see near the spine.  They felt that if there was any complications with the surgery it could result in more risk to him with the cancer spreading further.

He has recently gotten his mid tests to see if the chemo is working and it appears to be working since the CT scan was clear.  However, at initial diagnosis the CT scan did not initially show the tumor in his liver so they are following up with a liver and pelvic MRI.  We should get the results soon.  Once we get those results we will find out if they are going to do liver surgery or if the tumor has diseappeared and they will continue to monitor.

Just like you, my husband's liver tumor was considered small.  They did consider ablating it but at the time had decided not to.  They did indicate that the chemo may get rid of it completely and if it did they would have to monitor it closely.

I may have to read more on the Pfizer vaccine.  My husband is currently taking Fragmin daily for a bloodclot that he had in his arm in February.  We are very hesitant to take the vaccine at this time.  We may decide to reschedule after his chemotherapy is completed.

I am so happy to see that you are seven years NED.  I have seen many of your posts and you were one of the individuals who has given me hope and strength to help him get through this.  At the time I was feeling too emotional to write about our situation but I was able to get strength from so many of you who have shared your stories.  

Wishing you continued good health and thank you for wishing the same to my husband! :)

Tueffel's picture
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2020

My Papa got on Wednesday his 2nd shot of the Biontech vaccine. On Sunday he got disconnected from chemo with Folfiri and Avastin. The next day morning was quite hard but otherwise no side effects. It was the easiest part of this journey in the last few months. 

So try to get it for your husband ;)

Tbh as a German I am very proud of Biontech and their ideas. I am hopeful that the money they earn now will give a boost for the development of new drugs. Their scientist do come across as friendly with good ideas. I do hope that the mRNA technology is a game changer in medicine

It is probably the only good thing about covid that mRNA will get a boost from it and that more money will flow into the science and development of new drugs. 

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

I had the Pfizer vaccine, both rounds.  

I am currently on chemotherapy.  I had 12 rounds of FOLFOX, 24 Rounds of FOLFORI (most with Avastin) and started Lonsurf May, 2020.  Lonsurf is 5 days on (Mon through Fri, makes it easier to track), 2 days off, 5 days on, 16 days off.  Blood counts get worse during the 16 days off - the decline seems to be more for 10-14 days, then starts improving.  This is more for background.

My first shot was two days before a start of a cycle.  My arm was a tad sore for a day.  (My flu shot in October had my arm pretty sore for 10 days.)  My second shot was in the middle of the drop period (about a week after the end of the cycle).  It knocked me out.  I slept for two days, with almost 30 hours straight.  Nothing else.  No other reaction. No fever.  Nothing.

To be fair though, I have had long bouts of sleep on chemo.  The end of the first week of my current cycle was last night and I was in bed about 14 hours.  It is not uncommon at the end of the second week for me to sleep like that.  

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 2019


I had the Pfizer vaccine during a period of remission. I had a rough 2nd day after the 2nd shot but it was not too bad for me. I'm on FOLFIRI and Avastin, really just the Irinotecan  and Beva because I am not doing the 5FU (my choice). I HATE it. But it is what it is.

I've been reading/tracking BioNTech as well, I'm a nerd that way but of course I have a personal interest. The MD Anderson trials I thought were for a personalized vaccine that hasn't proven to be very successful. There is another mRNA trial that has a lot of eyes on it, they are doing a Phase 1 trial for it in my city among other places. You must have a kRAS mutation and be MSS. It seems your man will have some help though before it comes to that. Hopefully he won't need any trial!

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

RTH, somehow I missed your post.  Very cool to see.  I have kRAS mutation and am MSS.  It really does seem things are accelerating the last few years in treatments.  

abita's picture
Posts: 1021
Joined: Dec 2017

I have been on chemo since nov 2017. I had the vaccine. I was a little more tired, and had sore arm.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2021

Thanks to all of you!

We have decided to go ahead with the vaccination on the 31st.  I spoke to our pharmacist today and she highly recommended that he go ahead and get vaccinated.  I spoke to my hubby and gave him the information from all of you along with the pharmacist's recommendation and we have decided that this is the right choice for him.

Sending positive thoughts to all of you!  If I can help anyone at any time, I will certainly chime in.  

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