Tuesday, November 17, 2009

microcatheters and chemotherapy

Our thanks to Mrs. Eleanor Fina for pointing out this New York Times article about the experimental use of microcatheters to deliver Avastin directly to tumors in the brain, thereby sidestepping the blood-brain barrier. I doubt this therapy will be available for Mom in time to do anything useful at this stage of her cancer, but if it turns out that NIH is conducting its own clinical trials, we'll see about signing her on. The main issue appears to be one of safety: how safe is it to inject a drug like Avastin-- with all of its hazardous side effects-- directly into the brain? Initial results look good, but there's more testing to be done. In the meantime, tumor reaction to this direct attack has been drastic, with tumors just about disappearing under the onslaught of so much Avastin.

Side note: the NYT article lists many of the glioblastoma multiforme statistics with which readers of this blog have become familiar. I hope my readers won't be thrown off by some of the numbers. For example, the article says that the median survival time for glioblastoma is 15 months; this stat probably includes younger, healthier GBM patients, which is what bumps the average up from the stat I've been citing. 13 months is the median survival time for Mom's age group.


1 comment:

digitalpixi said...

I just read this on the NYT website and was going to send it to you, but alas! You have already discovered it! We are thinking of all you daily.