Thursday, April 30, 2009

exploring the avenues

Before we can pick a treatment option, we need to know what's out there. The website for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at U. of Texas in Houston (where some of my relatives think Mom should go*) has links to clinical trials, as well as excellent explanations for what's involved in such trials-- benefits, risks, what "informed consent" means, etc.

I also found an article through Instapundit for a spanking-new nanotech cancer treatment using fat droplets as a delivery system for a tumor-suppressing gene. The doctor who developed the technique is at Georgetown University Medical (go, Hoyas!), but her clinical trials are being done at Baylor U. in Dallas.

Sending Mom to Texas to weather her therapy is an alternative we're seriously considering. Dr. Meister was good to mention his unfamiliarity with DMC, but the lack of familiarity does make us think we might need to look elsewhere to make sure Mom gets the best, most current treatment. But as mentioned before, we have to balance this with the idea that clinical trials, while representing the cutting edge, don't necessarily guarantee the best treatment: they can go horribly wrong, too, and that might mean wasting months on a fruitless, bootless effort. As terrible as it is to say, there's a gamble going on here.

Either today or whenever we can get everybody together, we'll have to sit down as a family and discuss our options. Before doing this, however, we need to find out more about what options are out there. If you know of anything, please feel free to contribute. (NB: Our pastor was just over with his wife, and he apparently offered to look into the Cleveland Clinic-- the one in Cleveland, not the one in Florida.)

UPDATE: Many thanks to Pastor Kim and his wife for stopping by this morning, and to Donna Brandes (Mom's friend and former coworker) for visiting in the early afternoon. Also, a big thank-you to my friend and former French teacher, Eleanor Landgrabe, for calling and offering some possible leads for Mom's treatment.


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