Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Concern allayed

I had the pleasure of having dinner (and wine!!!) with BB, his lovely wife, his irrepressible chief of staff BJ and a colleague of theirs who has recently joined in a consulting role after years of doing this with the IMF.

Among the stories, laughter, jokes and discussion of all things Myeloma, I did speak with BB about the ending of the lite arm of my study.   As it turns out, because the stated goal of the study was to reduce toxicity (mouth sores, most prominently) and because this wasn't achieved, the study was ended early by a review board.  All patients now receive the standard arm.  BB said that there were no meaningful differences in outcome and in fact depending on what cytogenetic abnormalities a given patient has, some patients fared better under the lite arm.  He said they were working to try to understand why but did not have this figured out yet.

He also told me he is working with some colleagues on a new MRD test that will seek to overcome the imitations of the current one -- primarily that marrow from one individual site in the body could be free of cancer cells but there could be some elsewhere.

All good news.

Now we wait to see if the MRI is clean, if my MRD is negative in marrow, and if the bloodwork is clean and I can write off that mysterious monoclonal signature that showed up recently.

We should know on Friday.