tchan8888 wrote:Hello Everyone,
Just wanted to give a brief update. Had my first scan after 3 treatments. The lymph node tumors were very responsive. Was advised that many people do not see an immediate response to this immunotherapy regimen. Noticeable shrinkage in swelling of lymph nodes in my neck.
As for side effects, lots of fatigue, rash, bone and muscle soreness and constipation. This has been challenging, but still not as bad as FOLFIRI and FOLFOX. Treatment day is a lot shorter.
Am optimistic about gaining more time. Let me know if you have any questions and will try my best to answer. Know that getting into trial is a challenge and was very fortunate to get in.
Very good news to hear! Thanks for coming back to update us on the status, and thanks for volunteering to answer any questions -- and Happy Chinese New Year, with best wishes for good health and happiness in the years ahead!
Pembrozilumab (Keytruda) is already approved for two indications -- Advanced Melanoma and Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. So, one advantage of this is that the safety profile for use of this compound in humans is already well known, and the drug is already in stock in most hospital pharmacies. But they don't yet know for sure whether it is significantly better than other regimens in the case of colon cancer, and that is the reason for the need for the current clinical trials.
It is an expensive drug:
"Keytruda will be an expensive treatment option ... Merck has disclosed that its new PD-1 inhibitor will cost payers $12,500 per month or about $150,000 per year.... . Keytruda now looks set to become a blockbuster drug for Merck and a leading drug within the PD-1 inhibitor class..."
If an oncologist wants to prescribe it off-label for colon cancer, then I suppose he could -- provided the patient wants to pay or the patient's insurance is willing to cover the cost. But it's not quite clear whether insurance would cover the cost before the compound is formally approved for use in colon cancer.
The information for this particular trial is here: Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) Clinical Trial - NCT02460198