And finally, the light at the end of tunnel has just got a little brighter. After what feels like forever, I now have been accepted onto a dedicated mesothelioma trial running at the University Hospital Leicester.
This trial called MiST is using cutting edge technology in immunotherapy and targeted chemo therapy (called PARP Inhibitors) to aid the bodies own immune system to attack the cancer by preventing its ability to repair or hide. The trial is set out in 4 arms of treatment and early indications from the first cohort of cancer patients on MiST1 suggested that it can significantly reduce the size and spread of the disease. So it looks very promising for people like me.
Sadly though, not everyone can be considered for the trial as the new treatment requires you to have specific DNA/gene mutations suitable for trial participation. Thankfully I do and following trial enrolment; a barrage of tests and scans in this week, I will begin my treatment. Never thought I’d be so pleased to know my DNA/gene defects would have proven a benefit to my cancer treatment.
Participation on the trial is no guarantee of success however, but it does provide hope, hope where little to none previously existed, for me and other meso sufferers. Dare I hope that I might just get the opportunity to live longer and fulfil some of my previously mentioned outstanding goals and dreams, only time will tell.
My excitement at joining the trial though is very much tinged with sadness for all those fellow meso warriors who, because of genetics or limitations on the number of places available on the trial, will not get the same opportunity as me. We can only hope that more places are made available across the country soon and that a way can be found that stops the lack of specific DNA / gene defects from precluding you from these treatments.
So, following a recent bout of pneumonia which put me in hospital for 5 days to undergo intravenous antibiotics, I stand ready to begin another path on my cancer journey. One that will hopefully extend my life and improve its quality. Whilst at the same time, provide the trial team with enough information to fine tune the treatment for users to come.
So here’s hoping that 3 times really is a charm, following my two previous failed treatment plans.