The weather has continued in its topsy turvy manner, it may well have been sunny but it has also been very windy, really gusty. At least it stayed dry so we did walk down to our local summer fair , after much soul searching i donated a couple of handbags , so I made sure we walked past the stall this afternoon as if any hadn’t been sold I would have bought them back. They had all gone, but I picked up some books and scented candles.
It wa so gusty it wasnt much fun walking about, so after the fair we came home and sat in the garden which is more sheltered. Ray has been really tired all week, the pain isnt too bad but now he has really itchy ears that keepnhim awake at night- I dont think this is connected to meso in any way, farmore likely to be an allergy of some sort, but it doesnt help as if he gets tired, he gets worn down much more quickly than if he were fully fit.
When we got back he headed off to bed for a few hours, got back up just in time to watch the Murray match, so will see how that goes.
We managed to get our weekend back to front thanks to forecast. Saturday we decided to make the most of the fact it was due to be the best day and thought we would go out and about for a walk with lunch at a local village- although it was a bit bleak we set off hoping it would improve. Hah
It was so windy whichever way we walked that we couldn’t catch our breath, then the rains swept in as well!!forget this we thought , got back to the car and drove home.
On Sunday – blue skies but heavy rain forecast, so we thought we’d watch a film , only to find thatbthe rains never came and it stayed sunny. We managed to get a short spell in the garden, before the England game, so had a much later evening than expected as we stayed up to watch the inevitable loss on penalties.
So hoping next weekend is good, there is a large fair held on the local green, that raises a major amount for charity, it takes around 6 months to plan, so hope it stays fine for them.
Mesothelioma patients who undergo a procedure called talc pleurodesis (TP) for excess lung fluid may be harder to monitor with FDG-PET/CT scans afterward.
Talc pleurodesis is a procedure used to manage pleura effusions, the build-up of fluid around the lungs that causes many of the most uncomfortable symptoms of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Draining the fluid and filling the space with medical-grade talc is one way to deal with the problem.
But a new study suggests that talc pleurodesis may interfere with the primary means doctors use to monitor a mesothelioma patient’s disease progression and treatment response. FDG-PET scanning involves injecting the patient with a radioactive tracer and then using PET/CT to measure how much of the tracer is absorbed by cancer cells. The mesothelioma cells’ ‘uptake’ of tracer can be used to determine how well chemotherapy is working.
But when a team of Italian researchers compared the radiologic and metabolic treatment responses in eight mesothelioma patients who had undergone chemotherapy and talc pleurodesis, they found a problem. Eight patients were evaluated – 7 who had the epithelioid subtype of mesothelioma and 1 who had biphasic. After their TP treatment, they underwent FDG-PET/CT scans twice, once around 14 days and a second time around 125 days. The researchers found that, by increasing the amount of tracer absorbed by cancer cells, TP treatment can make it look as though a patient’s disease is progressing more rapidly than it is.
The Ducatti rebuild is well under way, apparently it is now firing on all cylinders ( absolutely no idea what this means but it sounds positive). Here it is in the kitchen, note incredibly tidy floor due to Ray and his OCD problem – at least that’s how I like to refer to tidiness.
The next test will be a ride out once it has been fully reassembled. Not sure if the motorbike worries me more than the meso. Great news about the MBE for meso campaigner Chris Knighton for raising over £1 million in memory of her husband towards research into this terrible diseases. Also congrats to Steve on his three year anniversary and to Debbie and Mavis who will be featuring in a Channel 4 documentary.
When I read about how much some people have achieved both in terms of raising awareness and from making sure life is lived to the full, I do wonder if we are doing as much as we should- yet at the moment for us being normal is really all we want. Maybe that will change in future.
Can see this turning into a sport weekend- tonight is very much about the football, currently 1-1 , and not the best of games. Tomorrow is a visit to church, for Ray’s parents 50th wedding event in the morning, then off to see my sister and hopefully an evening in watching The Iron Lady.
Sunday is a family get together, when we collect Ray’s son and have a big lunch (unlikely to be a bar-b-q i think).
The ducatti rebuild project is well underway, am trying hard to block out the running commentary on how all the bits fit together. Major trauma last night when a cog dropped into the engine- two hours and quite frankly some very choice language later, it was found and peace restored.
Normally of course you would expect this to be conducted in a garage- in this case it is in the kitchen! Albeit in a discreet corner.
Oh dear is now 2-1 advantage to sweden , at times like yes it almost makes you feel better to be Welsh and just not bother going to these tournaments.
Adding the VEGF-inhibitor bevacizumab to a popular chemotherapy combination for mesothelioma does not appear to prolong survival after all.
Scientists at 11 of the nation’s top cancer centers have reached that conclusion after a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled test of the combination. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGF) are signal proteins produced by cells that play an important role in the formation of blood vessels and in cell growth and division. Some VEGF-inhibitors have shown activity against malignant mesothelioma in preclinical models. Bevacizumab is a popular VEGF-inhibitor.
The theory behind the multi-center clinical trial was that adding bevacizumab to the mesothelioma combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin would boost the effectiveness of the drugs and prolong survival. One hundred and fifteen patients were enrolled in the study.
The mesothelioma patients received 1,250 mg of gemcitabine on days 1 and 8 and every 21 days, 75 mg of cisplatin every 21 days, and 15 mg of bevacizumab or placebo every 21 days for six cycles. After that, they received bevacizumab or placebo every 21 days until the mesothelioma progressed.
The results were disappointing. Patients on the bevacizumab experienced progression of their mesothelioma in 6.9 months, while those on placebo progressed in 6 months. Median overall survival times were 15.6 months for the bevacizumab group and 14.7 for placebo.
In summarizing their results, the researchers concluded, “The addition of bevacizumab to gemcitabine/cisplatin did not significantly improve progression free survival or overall survival in patients with advanced malignant mesothelioma.”
We braved the weather and headed out on Saturday to our local theatre followed by a great meal out at a nearby restaurant. Had a great meal, one of the best we have had out for some time. In fact since the last time we went to that restaurant. We are definitely spoilt where we live for good places to eat and because there is so much competition they tend to be rally good value as well.
After our activities on Saturday we felt we could stay in and watch the tennis during the day, although we did head out for a very short walk in the evening, just missing the rain.
Ray has had a few days of feeling very sore, so has been on a higher dose of the painkillers. Today seems a little better, today he describes more as though he has an itchy lung ( hope this isn’t a sinister development)
This week is going to see the Ducatti rebuild well underway ( I already know far more than I wanted about cam belts). Next weekend is a big weekend for his parents, as their local church is having an event for everyone in the diocese whose 50th wedding anniversary is due this year. We will be going along for the occasion as they are allowed two guests . It will mean a huge amount to his mum to have this time with him.
Long-term follow-up on a second-line drug formesothelioma confirms its potential for prolonging survival.NGR-hTNF is a vascular targeting agent that appears to be able to seek out tumor cells and disrupt their blood vessel formation. It is currently the only drug in Phase III clinical trials specifically for mesothelioma patients whose disease has returned after chemotherapy.
Presenting at the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the drug’s maker, Italy-based MolMed S.p.A., said three year follow-up on Phase II mesothelioma trial subjects demonstrated a definite survival advantage among those who received the drug.
Because it combines a peptide (NGR) with a cytokine (TNF), the NGR-hTNF is classified as a peptide/cytokine complex. In Phase II clinical trials, its effectiveness was evaluated both alone and in combination to treat recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma. Follow-up on 57 of the Phase II mesothelioma patients showed those who received NGR-hTNF once a week instead of once every three weeks survived longer.
The Phase III trial, aimed at assessing the survival duration of 390 mesothelioma patients, is now in progress. So far, 200 patients have been enrolled. Researchers told the ASCO attendees that the Phase II follow-up results “confirm the validity of the design of the pivotal Phase III study, currently the only ongoing in mesothelioma in 2nd line…”
NGR-hTNF has also been tested for liver, colorectal, small-cell lung and ovarian cancers. It holds orphan drug status in both the U.S. and the European Union for mesothelioma and liver cancer.
After a couple of days with no energy, Ray is now back up and about again. Unfortunately the weather isn’t conducive to going out so he has been a bit housebound- this drought is really starting to kick in , don’t know how I have managed with the hosepipe ban ! Hah!
When Ray and i first met, he wasn’t very keen on cats, I don’t think he is that keen still, but somewhere along the way , my cats have decided that they REALLY like him- I call him the cat whisperer. He is now the official choice of lap to sit on…
Watching something gripping on the TV………
They first started sitting with him not long before his first diagnosis and looking back we wondered if they could sense he was ill, but now I just think they really like him.
We have been talking about going away for a few weeks, his next scan is at the end of July so we have time to get something booked in , we don’t want to go far as he has some days where the pain is really tiring. The last time you would want to be at an airport or in a plane. Ideally would like to stay in this country, if we could get some sunshine, we would love to go back to the cotswold or down to the New Forest or Lyme Regis again.
In the meantime, the Ducatti rebuilding project is now underway. As is is an old bike, lots of the replacement parts need to be independently sourced so it is quite a big job. The idea was to get it running and sell it – something tells me that it will become a permanent fixture.
After our exertions on Saturday, we have effectively been glued to the sofas for the last two days. Sunday, Ray was too tired to do much at all, he spent most of the day in bed, so I watched some of the Jubilee events on the TV. There was a street party in our local high street, I did think about having a wander down but not only was it a bit drizzly, it was pretty chilly.
Ray got up just in time for dinner and to watch the concert on TV. Today has been a little better although it is still so cold. We have guiltily looked out of the window and thought about going out, then we open the door and think let’s not.
It does feel a bit of a wasted day, I’m back to work tomorrow, so will need to get some things planned for the weekend. If only the weather would get a bit warmer, even the heating had to go back on for a short time today.