Breast Cancer Blog

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sue had an appointment to see her Oncologist today. Before seeing the doctor, the nurse took her blood pressure, which turned out normal. Her blood pressure medication is doing its job.

It is still too early to start her on chemotherapy. The doctor wanted to tell us about a clinical trial that Sue qualifies for. Because of the size of the tumor and the fact that it is an aggressive cancer that is HER2-positive, she has a 40% chance that cancer will develop somewhere else in her body if she does nothing. By taking the standard medical treatment of chemotherapy and Herceptin, her chances of developing cancer drop to 15% to 20%. The clinical trial is to see if they can lower those chances even further.

The drug is called Pertuzumab and is already FDA approved for treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). The clinical trial is to see if it will also help prevent cancer from coming back in patients like Sue where the cancer has not spread.

If Sue does the trial, she still gets the chemotherapy plus the Herceptin as originally planned. She will also either receive a dose of the Pertuzumab, or a placebo. Half the people participating in the study get the drug, and the other half get the placebo. We won't know which one Sue gets.

There appears to be little or no side affects. We have to read all the literature they gave us to find out more before we decide. The drug is free since it is still in the clinical trial stage. It appears the only negative we can see in participating is that she will have to spend an extra hour or so every time she goes for her chemotherapy treatments so that they can give her this trial drug (or placebo). She has the option to stop the trial at anytime.

After meeting with the Oncologist, we went to the plastic surgeon's office to have some of her surgical drain tubes removed. She is now down from 4 drains to 2 drains. They said it will probably be another week before the last two can be removed. They gave her some antibiotics as a precaution to fight any infections that could be developing around the incisions.

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