Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Next Steps

I had another consultation with Dr. Amatruda today. We first went over bits and pieces and how I've been doing since the liver biopsy. And then we got into a next step being an MRI of the brain, to figure out if it may have spread there yet. And in a segue from what to do it it and spread, we then discussed some of the treatment options. I caught enough of what he said to surf for more information, which I found here.
Determining treatment options

The staging system for virtually every primary cancer is unique, identifying the progress of disease for that particular cancer. The stage of the cancer determines the treatment choices. For cancer confined to a specific area, local treatment may be used. Examples of local treatment include excision (surgical removal), or ablation, which means destroying the tumor with radiofrequency (high frequency energy), cryosurgery (freezing), or percutaneous alcohol (alcohol injection), or by blocking the blood supply to the tumor.
For this he referred me to Dr. Sielaff. I have a consultation set up, and I'm sure in the meantime he'll be reviewing my case. Following that consultation I will be undergoing one of the treatments to get rid of the liver cancer.

Following whatever that is going to be, Dr. Amatruda would like to get me to do one month of interferon, which sound less than fun. And after that, I believe he mentioned Leukine.

That may or may not work; so he also mentioned "Plan B", which amounts to trying other things, some experimental. There was some possibility of sending the tumor to California where some place might be able to create some sort of anti melanoma vaccine. If so, this one would be compatible, unlike my incompatibility with the Mayo one (mentioned here and here) he had presented earlier -- before my HLA test showed I wasn't the right type.

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