Sunday, 17 October 2010

New regime

For some time now, Steve has been taking supplements to help boost his immune system - vitamins and omega 3 (fish oil).  He has has also been taking a medicinal mushroom extract Agaricus Blazei. This contains a substance called beta glucans, known to stimulate the natural killer cells which are an important part of the body's immune system. Whether some or all of these have played an active role in keeping Leo at bay, or whether that's due to last year's chemo (even though it did not produce a noticeable response in terms of tumour size reduction) we honestly don't know. But something seems to be helping him stay stable, so he continues taking the tablets!

Yesterday he added another weapon to the defense arsenal - celecoxib. This is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is used to treat arthritis, amongst other things. It's a selective COX-2 inhibitor which (in plain English) reduces inflammation and pain, without the known gastrointestinal side effects of non-selective NSAIDs. So it will help him with the problems caused by arthritis more effectively than the ibuprofen he has been using recently. 

However, there is another potential bonus of taking celecoxib.  As noted on the US National Cancer Centre's website states "COX-2 inhibition may result in apoptosis (cell death) and a reduction in tumour angiogenesis and metastasis (growth and spread). So it just possible that whilst helping Steve with his arthritis pain, the drug may play an active role in keeping Leo under control or helping him loose weight. The fact that Andrew Lawson (the doctor with mesothelioma - link top right) also takes celecoxib for pain relief is also reassuring.....

It may be psychological, but Steve says he felt able to move his neck more freely last night - and it certainly looked like that from where I was sitting. Let's hope that soon he'll be able to look straight up without having to lean backwards if he wants to see something up high! We'll have to wait until early December to see if this new regime has any noticeable effect on mesothelioma after taking it for six weeks or so. But you never know.........

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