PD-1 Approved

12/28/15 –Bristol-Myers Squibb contacted me today to notify me that I have been approved to receive a year supply of the PD-1 drug known as Opdivo. This, of course, is awesome news.
So what is OPDIVO? Here is some information from the Bristol-Myers Squibb website:
OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat a type of advanced stage lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer) that has spread or grown and you have tried chemotherapy that contains platinum, and it did not work or is no longer working. OPDIVO is the first and only immunotherapy the FDA approved based on two clinical trials that resulted in longer life for adults with advanced NSCLC previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.
How is OPDIVO different from chemotherapy?OPDIVO is an immunotherapy treatment. It’s a type of medicine that works with your immune system.
What does the immune system have to do with cancer?Your immune system is designed to protect your body from external threats like viruses and foreign bacteria, and internal threats like cancer cells, including lung cancer. However, some cancer cells escape from the attack of the immune system by sending specific signals. Immunotherapy treatments can work through the same signals to help the immune system in the fight against cancer.
This emerging area of medicine is called immuno-oncology, a field that is helping doctors and scientists understand how immunotherapies like OPDIVO may help the immune system to fight cancer.
The plan for me is use OPDIVO against my Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Although there is not a lot of data on how effective it will be with MCL, my doctors feel the science is excellent and they expect to see similar results with MCL as has been observed with lung cancer. I am waiting to hear from Dr. Goy and Dr. Rowley of the plan to provide OPDIVO to me. Maybe I will hear a little about it when I am at the Cancer Center on 12/31 for my follow-up appointment.
I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of this cutting edge treatment. Sure I hope it works from me, but also it would be fantastic if this leads to something that helps other MCL patients.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24
More to come…


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