Tuesday 21 October 2014

AZD0424 clinical trial start of Week 4, Cycle 1: lump

Back to hospital today for Steve's weekly check up at the start of the last week of Cycle 1 of the AZD0424 drug trial.  

Weight, BP, ECG all OK.  Blood and urine samples given for testing.  A chat with the doctor about side effects; gas/
bloating/gurgling stomach (ongoing), pimples on face and neck (now less noticeable) and hair loss (accelerating). Nothing serious enough to warrant stopping taking part in the clinical trial.

We also took the opportunity to ask him to look at the lump on Steve's chest which he first noticed before the clinical trial started, after lifting very heavy bags of cement out of the car boot and into the garden.  At the time it was painful and we assumed Steve had pulled a muscle.  The pain has long since stopped but the lump remains, not protruding quite so much but flattened out and with a wider circumference.

We had drawn Dr Iannis's attention to the lump at the pre-trial consultation.  He looked at it but didn't seem worried. Today, a different doctor examined it and measured it to keep tabs on any future changes.  In an almost a passing remark, he said it's probably the cancer growing.  We had considered this as a possible explanation initially.  However, the absence of pain and previous doctor's lack of concern meant we had pushed it to the back of our minds.  As a result, today's rather casual statement took us both a bit by surprise.  

Steve is due a scan in a couple of week's time so the results should clarify whether the lump on his chest is the cancer growing through the chest wall and rib cage.  In between then and now, we assume it will be measured and monitored at the weekly visits to the Early Phase Clinical Trial Unit.  

It seems a bit surreal to be writing in these terms when Steve has no pain in that area...or anywhere else for that matter. For that we must be grateful.  However, it reinforces the urgency of finding something that will slow down the meso, stop it or shrink it.  Whether AZD0424 will do any of those things remains to be seen.  We live in hope.  It's certainly doing something to his body, if the side effects are anything to go by!

Thank goodness the Medical Innovation (Saatchi) Bill now has government support.  Here's hoping it will become law by spring 2015 and open up options for people in Steve's position to consider treatment with drugs that show promise in trials but are not yet licensed, without the medical profession being put off using such innovative treatment for fear of litigation.  

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