I will continue to get nivolumab infusions each other week for in any case the next 12 weeks. To look into plenty of if the nivolumab is working, I can have a CT scan on March 24, and one other 6 weeks later. A team of almost 5 doctors will closely evaluate these scans to my baseline scan of February 10, as well as my earlier NIH scans. If the length of the tumors has reduced, or is stable, then I will avoid going with the infusions. If the tumor length has increased by more than 25% from the baseline, then we're going to have determined that nivolumab does now not paintings on my metastatic cancer, and I will be published from the trial. In that occasion, I'd be free to pursue other treatment options, such as Dr. Apolo's cabozanatib trial, or one other 2nd-line treatment, such as a taxene.
I asked Dr. Hahn no matter if surgery or radiation presumably an substitute in the long-time period. He said that most doctors would now not favor surgery to do away with tumors in lymph nodes, because such surgery is now not curative, carries its own risks, and would now not strengthen my stable quality of life. He said that radiation treatment presumably an substitute if the nodes were impacting my nerves or blood flow, or causing excessive pain. Pursuing that would endorse that I would have to first drop out of the trial. I'll supply the nivolumab time to paintings, but will continue to train myself regarding my possibilities.
I told Dr. Hahn that on the whole just about the most outcome of the swollen nodes was that I had a relentless dull ache on the left side of my neck, running from the backside of my jaw, down my neck, and running along the precise of my shoulder. My left clavicle is being pressed up by the tumor underneath it. Another tumor at the base of my neck is pressing down on my clavicle. And the two other tumors in my neck are pressing my skin out. Dr. Hahn said that any pain can be managed with painkillers, but I'm now not as regards to that element but. It just looks like a pulled muscle.
I even have recently constructed a pain on the left side of my stomach, which also looks like a pulled muscle. The scans did now not end up anything abnormal going down there, so neither I nor Dr. Hahn might just say what it was. Again, it's now not really always a debilitating pain – no more than 2 on the zero to 10 pain scale – just sufficient to let me know that it's there.
Fortunately, I have so far evaded any of the other side outcome of the nivolumab trials – no constipation or diarrhea or joint pain or anything else that I have noticed. I'll continue to rigorously screen my prestige, and will report to Hopkins next Tuesday for my next infusion.