3/12/13 – When you are diagnosed with something like High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol, what happens? Typically you will be prescribed a pill that will take care of this condition. It is very likely that the medication you take for this will be something you take for the rest of your life.

Now picture this… You are diagnosed with some type of cancer; let’s say it’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma…  What happens next? You are prescribed a pill that will take care of this condition. It is very likely that the medication you take for this will be something you take for the rest of your LONG life… Now, how cool would that be?
Today I was at the John Theurer Cancer Center a Hackensack University Medical Center to meet with Dr. Goy and to learn about what treatment options were available to me. Our meeting started with Dr. Goy saying; “Had a slight relapse? No big deal”.  He followed with a quick examination, reviewing the reports, dictating into his mini recorder at the speed of light… and yes with his famous French accent. We then had time to chat about the study. Here are some of the study’s highlights:
The title of the study is: A Phase 2, Multicenter, Single-Arm Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Single-Agent Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) Inhibitor, Ibrutinib, in Subjects with Mantle Cell Lymphoma Who Progress after Bortezomib Therapy.
Ibrutinib (PCI-32765) is an experimental drug that is being tested to see if it may be useful in treating relapsed/refractory (where the disease has come back) Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). It is a new drug also known as a ‘Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor’. This is an experimental drug that blocks an enzyme that affects how the lymphocytes grow and survive. Blocking this enzyme is a very important mechanism in killing cancer cells. In this study, Ibrutinib is tested to see if it may be useful in subjects with MCL, which has come back after previous treatment, but at the same time, it is being tested in other studies, in other illnesses. 
Early indications show that the Ibrutinib has been very effective with few to no side effects. Other than taking the doses on a consistent schedule each day and having periodic checkups, it certainly seems that people being treated with this drug are seeing awesome results and at the same time are able to live their lives with little to no disruption.
All I could say to that is… WOW! Where do I sign?
As you could imagine, Dr. Goy has had many requests to participate in this study. Knowing this Dr. Goy made sure he reserved me a spot in the study for me. I am so blessed to have a doctor who is truly looking out for me.
So, what’s next? I have to go through a few tests before I begin treatments. Tomorrow I will have a PET Scan and a EKG. On Friday, March 15th I will have a MUGA Scan and a Bone Marrow Biopsy.
Once this is all done I will be ready for Ibrutinib.
Concurrent with the study treatments we will also begin planning for a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant. Although this is not part of the study, Dr. Goy would like to move in this direction once the Ibrutinib completely annihilates my Mantle Cell Lymphoma. I will be getting a call from the transplant team over the next few days to get a better understanding of this.
After today I am feeling extremely positive and encouraged.  Could Ibrutinib be the drug that simply gets prescribed to us when we are diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma? Will it turn our cancer diagnoses into a non-event? I truly pray that this is the case.   "Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you; not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27   More to come…

LymphomaInfo Social