Friday, November 30, 2012

And the decision is...

Madeleine’s Blog

November 30, 2012
So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Isaiah 41:10

The decision has finally been made, and the recommendation is for Madeleine to start on a drug called ipilimumab - which is also known as "Yervoy" (much easier to spell and to say!).

With the help of her local oncologist, and consultation with the melanoma specialists at UCSF, it was decided that this would be the best option for Madeleine right now. (Their recommendation had been to check into getting into a promising clinical trial with a new drug known as anti PD-1, but there aren't any openings available at this time.)

So, Madeleine starts this afternoon receiving her first infusion of Yervoy. She's relieved that this can be done right here at Kaiser... that it is just an IV infusion (no central line - yay!)... and that the infusion lasts only 90 minutes. Also, she only has to have one of these treatments every three weeks.

Yervoy is a drug that works by "taking the brakes off" your immune system so that that it can recognize and destroy the cancer cells. This process can take some time to work, and it can also result in some significant side effects in a percentage of patients. But the drug was approved last year because of its demonstrated effect on patients with melanoma that has spread, and we are hoping and praying that this drug will also be effective in Madeleine's case.

We have been praying that the treatment choices would be clear, and that we would know which path to choose -- so we are really thankful for the clear consensus from her oncologists. They are also currently considering an additional option that may enhance the effect of the Yervoy as well.

Please join us in praying that this treatment will be effective in fighting this cancer, that her body's own immune system would be mobilized to fight, and that Madeleine would be protected from any serious side effects.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. We'll keep you posted!

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