Here’s the Plan

Here is my high-level treatment plan.

1) Xalkori (crizotinib)

  • This is a ‘targeted therapy‘ that is designed to attack only the cancerous cells.  I’m able to try this because my cancer tested ALK+.
  • My oncologist feels there is a 70% chance that I will respond to this treatment.  YAY!
  • I must respond well enough (shrinking the cancer) and tolerate the side effects for this to be considered successful.
  • We will try this for 4 weeks before determining whether or not it has been successful.
  • If it is successful (paws crossed), I will take this pill as long as it continues to be effective in controlling  my cancer.  This could be 3 years, for example.

2) Chemotherapy

  • If Xalkori does not control my cancer or I cannot tolerate the side effects, I will have chemotherapy (actual drugs to be determined).
  • We have not discussed this in detail because there is a very good chance option 1 will work.
  • My oncologist feels there is a 20% chance that chemotherapy would provide enough control.

3) Clinical Trials

  • If chemotherapy does not control my cancer, I would then be eligible for a new clinical trial already in progress for ALK+ lung cancer.
  • The good news is that science will continue to develop and refine these treatments, and there are many things for me to try in the foreseeable future.
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