A difficult three days when for whatever reason Ray has been in a lot more pain, we now get a day which is pain free. Plus it is sunny, a walk is in order – we set off confidently this afternoon to our usual river walk down to Kew – not actually my picture but I think you get the idea from this image posted today- needless to say there was a diversion needed- there really is a path between the bicycle and the wall!!
After a slightly longer walk than anticipated it was back home to sit outside and practice a few more cosmopolitans – tonight is dinner at home followed by a film. Tomorrow will be staying at home , then on Sunday have planned a surprise so wait and see.
Having successfully put Mr Meso behind us for a couple of months, today has brought it right back to the forefront of our minds. The day didn’t start well with delays on the tube, then at the scan itself the quiet room where you are supposed to rest wasn’t very quiet. There was a baby in having some scans and injections , who quite naturally wasn’t very happy.
Not exactly something you can complain about, but listening to a crying baby for the 40 mins it takes the tracer to go through your system before the scan , isn’t the most restful start. Because of how the PET scan works this resting period is really important. The scan is picking up where glucose is being used up most quickly, such as cancer cells, if your blood pressure is high or other parts of your body are also working harder than usual , they can also show up.
Once the scan finished, they asked him to wait for around 30mins while they checked the imaging was OK. That’s the first time he has ever been asked to wait, so of course your imagination works overtime and you automatically wonder if there was anything malign in the background causing the wait.
The other downside is obviously he doesn’t sleep well the night before plus he can’t eat before hand , so he is starving and lacking in energy by the time he gets back home. So tonight is a bit of a down atmosphere while we try and get our imaginataions under control.
Back into that hoping for the best, preparing for the worst dual mode we all have to manage.
Just back from Goodwood, where we had a great couple of days. Not hugely successful in terms of horse selection, we managed one winner but more frustratingly had a couple of seconds – the weather just about held out for us. It stayed dry but was a bit chilly in the breeze. We stayed overnight at a local hotel, had a great dinner and a good breakfast this morning. So overall top marks for the weekend.
Tomorrow is scan day with just over a week to the results, so we are enetering the twilight zone of trying to think about anything other than hospitals. It has been a bit longer this time between scans, as it is 6 months since the last PET scan, with only a CT scan in between, which is a much shorter prep time. So this one is a real test, the PETscan picks up cancer at cellular level before any tumour development is detected at Ct scan level. Six months is therefore a big gap.
Fingers crossed nothing untoward is going on.
Three new published studies contain a mixed bag of findings on the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma.
In a study designed to help doctors predict which mesothelioma patients will respond to pemetrexed-based chemotherapy, results were promising. Pemetrexed works, in part, by preventing mesothelioma cells from synthesizing several key enzymes, including thymidylate synthase (TS). Scientists found that, as predicted, high levels of TS during therapy were a sign the drug was not working .
In a separate cellular process, pemetrexed is converted into a more effective form by folylpoly-y-glutamate synthetase (FPGS). In the same study, patients who had high FPGS expression saw better mesothelioma tumor response to pemetrexed.
While there is still no standard second-line chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma, a Phase II study in Australia suggests that the oral chemotherapy drug sunitinib might be an option for some. Fifty-one mesothelioma patients received two cycles of sunitinib between July 2006 and December 2009. Six patients (12%) showed a partial response to the drug and 34 (65%) had stable disease. The team concludes that “Sunitinib has activity in a subset of patients with pretreated malignant pleural mesothelioma” and recommends further study of sunitinib.
The news was not as good for the drug bortezomib. A single-arm Phase II trial on bortezomib as a first- or second-line therapy found a partial response in only one out of 23 patients enrolled. Preclinical tests on bortezomib had looked promising, but in light of the Phase II trial results, the UK-based research team concluded that the therapy “exhibits insufficient activity to warrant further investigation in unselected patients with mesothelioma”.
All three studies appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
It is so hot at the moment, please note this is not a complaint just an observation. It’s been a gorgeous few days, Ray went sailing yesterday with his dad and had a great time. Ages since he has had the energy to go sailing so am so pleased he managed to get out on the water and enjoy the sunshine. We also perfected our cocktail making skills with a mean cosmopolitan, very sophisticated drinks in the garden now.
We are away next weekend for our birthdays, a trip to Goodwood races has been planned – just checked the forecast and looks as though it will be lovely all week turning to rain jest in time for the bank holiday weekend – last year we went and although not wet , it was chilly so maybe this year it will be a bit warmer- we are staying over at a local hotel so will be good to get away even if only for a very short time.
The check up scan is looming – so good to have some nice things to look forward to us well.
A natural compound found in red onions, tea and the skins of red apples may play a valuable role in the ongoing fight against malignant mesothelioma. These and other fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains contain quercetin, a flavonoid which has been found to induce apoptosis (cell death) in certain types of cancer cells.
Now, for the first time, researchers in Korea have tested the compound’s effectiveness against pleural mesothelioma. Using cultured mesothelioma cells for testing, the scientists treated the samples with 20-80 µM of quercetin. The compound reportedly reduced the viability of the mesothelioma cells while, at the same time, increasing the rate of apoptosis.
At the heart of quercetin’s apparent anti-mesothelioma effect is its interaction with specificity protein 1 (Sp1). Specificity protein 1 (Sp1) is a human transcription factor involved in gene expression and linked to a variety of crucial cellular functions. The scientists report that quercetin “significantly suppressed its (Sp1’s) expressions at the protein and mRNA (micro RNA) levels.” As a result, mesothelioma cells exposed to quercetin lost their ability to perform certain functions necessary for life and growth.
The study, published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, concludes with a “strong suggestion” that “Sp1 be considered as a novel molecular target of Qu in human malignant pleural mesothelioma.” A recent breast cancer study on quercetin appears to support the mesothelioma results. A study at Indiana University on a botanical formula containing quercetin found that the supplement reduced the size of breast cancer tumors and helped prevent metastasis to the lungs in laboratory mice.
I see a bulk order of red onions on its way
Well we are now firmly back to earth after a fantastic two weeks – back to bargain hunt rather than the joys of greco roman wrestling and all those other sports in which we have become experts. Making the most of our Olympic tickets was one of our targets, when I booked them Ray never thought he would still be here to actually go- but go we did.
With the end of the sport we have also seen the last of the sunshine for now, hopefully it will return shortly. We did manage to make the most of it , and yes Jan, we definitely got to enjoy a couple of glasses of chilled white wine in the garden.
Ray now has a major project underway of revamping the garage, bearing in mind this is a man very close to all tins lined up facing the same way, you can imagine the trauma of having to reorganise all his work tools. Needs must however as the existing flooring needs to be revamped ( who knew a garage needed so much attention, but apparently it is generating too much dust for the pride and joy that is the LOTUS).
We are now two weeks away from the next scan so the usual storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.
Great weather at the moment and really enjoying the atmosphere in london for the games. All the tube lines are working well, no road works, everyone really smiley. Its never been easier to get about so i think we should hold them all the time, dont lets bother moving them round the world.
We are currently trying to get tickets for the paralympics so we can see the stadium, which is proving to be just as painful an experience as getting the initial tickets. Its like a mad version of supermarket sweep, the number of times you get the tickets in to your basket but in the three minutes to checkout they disappear!!
Patience is a virtue , so will keep trying.
Ray doing well these last couple of days, we headed off to Stockbridge yesterday and are going out and about later today tomake the most of the weather.
Papworth Hospital in Cambridge has opened Europe’s first dedicated mesothelioma tissue bank, an important step forward for doctors and researchers working to develop a treatment for this aggressive cancer.
Although rare at 2,300 cases annually in the UK, unfortunately we have the world’s highest per capita mesothelioma mortality rate. The ‘Mesobank UK’ tissue bank recently launched at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge (a part of Cambridge University Health Partners) will provide vital tissue samples and anonymous, detailed clinical information which can be used to conduct research studies.
In a hospital press release, Dr. Robert Rintoul, who will lead the new tissue bank said, “In research terms, mesothelioma has been a neglected cancer for far too long. The opening of the Mesobank could really help change this, by making it quicker, easier and cheaper for researchers to undertake the kind of research that could deliver real advances in our understanding and treatment of this devastating disease.”
According to the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, which helped fund Mesobank UK, the samples will be kept in a centralized storage facility. Pathology samples from 1,000 mesothelioma patients will be used to build a Tissue Microarray, which will allow scientists to process and evaluate hundred of tumor cell samples at once. Because certain types of experiments can only be conducted on fresh tumor samples, blood and clinical data will also be collected from 300 patients over the next 3 years. The Mesobank will offer 20 new mesothelioma cell lines for study and will accept tissue and blood samples from a collaborative group of doctors and scientists across the UK.
The British Lung Foundation also helped pay for the project.
Now we know where the recent samples Ray donated have gone – good to be part of this project which will hopefully bring a treatment to help reduce the heartache this disease causes so many.
Beautiful photo to share with all meso warriors from @taylorherringpr for those on twitter