April 25, 2011

Up, however

I received a call from Atlanta Friday morning with my PSA results from Thursday. Below are the four results I received from my trips to the doctor in Atlanta. For the record, January 27th was the day I started the trial.
Date          PSA        Rate of Increase

27-Jan      200
24-Feb     250          20%
24-Mar    293          15%
21-Apr    328           11%
At first blush, yes my number is up again, but the good news is the rate of increase continues to drop.
Additionally, when I talked with Dr. A Thursday he indicated that he has had several patients that he took off the trial after two to three months. Unlike my case, these men continued to see a rapid rise in PSA and, more importantly, a progression in bone pain. Although my number is up, the rate is slowing and the number of and severity of the aches and pains I experience are down from the previous visit.

Today I am seeing my local Oncologist. The bad news is that KUCC is not yet able to accept patients for the trial. I am less hopeful that they will be ready by May 20th, the date of my next check-up. I have made a few inquiries through some connections and should have a better idea by tomorrow.

In the past few days I received two separate emails with sad news. We lost two more men to this dreaded disease. One in his late 60's the other in his late 70's. Some what older than me, but still hard on both families.
In one case the man's daughter said that though her dad was not much for computers, he always asked 'how's the young guy with the blog doing?' From time to time she would update him on my progress and she indicated in her message he found it inspiring. That makes me feel good, I just wish the entire circumstance was different.

How many more have to lose their battle before we make a break though?


flors said...

I too am starting Abiraterone this week.

When and how do you find the best time to take the 4 tablets?

Any side effects at all?

Dan said...

I'm on the Exelixis XL-184 clinical trial, and my oncologist had an interesting comment last time I saw him. My PSA is rising at the same time that bone mets are shrinking. In 4 months I've gone from moderate bone pain to none, and lymph node mets are holding steady (no growth, no real shrinking either). My doc says there's a new study coming out this year that shows PSA alone is not a meaningful indicator of disease progression or poor outcome. Bone pain and organ metastasis are more useful as prognostic indicators, but if PSA bounces up and down, or even rises slowly, there's less cause for concern. Wish I had a reference to the study but I don't think it's published yet. From his perspective, your loss of pain is a very good indicator that Abiraterone is useful even if the PSA is going up. (Mine has been anywhere from 55 to 235 in the last 6 months, and that seems to be typical with XL-184.) Hang in there, David!

E. Michael D. ("Mike") Scott said...


Just a word of clarification ...

I THINK that your medical oncologist was probably referring only to the relevance of PSA levels in men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

It is clear than in castration-sensitive patients that the PSA level is strongly indicative of response to treatment.

I am less clear about the signifciance of PSA level in men with non-metastatic CRPC

Dan said...

Mike, thanks for the clarification. You're absolutely right. I should have clarified that this is about later stage, not early stage hormone-sensitive cancer.