Yesterday I did not qualify for my weekly treatment in the clinical trial with CCI-779. My platelets were just barely below the 50,000 minimum necessary, at 49,000. This despite my use of sesame oil and agrimonia Chinese herb that has raised my platelets in the past month. When I talked to the tech man at the company that supplies the herb, he said it works temporarily, like for about a month. So, I'm going to give it a rest and see if it resumes its ability to raise my platelets in a week or two.
I was initially disappointed to miss a treatment, thinking that I need one each week so as not to die from lymphoma. However, I am comforted by another factor related to the design of this clinical trial. It specified 25 mg of CCI-779 per week as initial dosage. The first time a patient misses due to platelets below 50,000, future doses are lowered to 20. Missing one week at 20, your next dose is 15. Missing one week at 15, your next one is 10 mg. Failing to have a 50,000 platelet count for one week at 10 mg means you drop to the minimum treatment category: 10 mg every other week. Missing several of those means you are dropped from the study. I just failed at 15, so my next treatment will be at 10 mg. I think my body will probably recover from 49,000 this week to above 50,000 next week, since I am not being hit by the chemical this week.
The factor that comforts me is the recognition that the researchers have reason to believe that CCI-779 might retain its anti-cancer effectiveness at lower doses than originally thought -- like 10 rather than 25. In their original work, they thought 250 mg was the right dose. Then they found that 25 worked just as well against cancer, with much less hit to the platelets. So, I get to be one of those experimental subjects who explores the low limits. The lower the dosage, the less toxicity in terms of reducing platelet counts. I have the chance to show that low doses can both kill cancer and preserve healthy platelet counts. I like lending my body to the advancement of human knowledge, while at the same time using a treatment that may do better against my cancer than methods that have been used in years past. I think this attitude fits the Christian concept of the stewardship we are to exercise with resources God entrusts to our management. These include our time, money, words, relationships, activities, and bodies,
Dennis L. Gibson, Ph.D.www.ACancerCoach.com