Ovarian cancer: The bedside manner of different doctors

Our ovarian cancer blogger updates us on what happened when she met with a clinical trial team after discovering her past treatment had stopped working.
Ovarian Cancer Ribbon Sport an ovarian cancer ribbon to show your support As both a wife and mother, our blogger Elana Waldman shares the triumphs and struggles of battling ovarian cancer for more than seven years.

As promised, I am writing to let you know what happened after I met with the phase 1 clinical trial team. First, I need to say that I hated the doctor I met with. He opened the meeting by saying, "So you've been referred to us because your doctor has run out of options and he wants to see if there is anything left that we can try." OY! Talk about setting the mood. And after I'd left my doctor's office feeling optimistic the previous week, this one seemed to want to crush any optimism I had. Well, I am happy to say that it didn't work and I continue to believe that there are still several options that are quite viable left for me to try.

Having said that, I was presented with an option of a clinical trial that seems like a good option. I emailed my doctor (forgetting that he was on vacation in Chile) and discussed it with him and we agreed that it made sense to try the trial while there was space and chemo would always be there as a fall back if it didn't work. (Can I just give a huge shout out to my real doctor who emailed me from his vacation and always seems to have the time for all my questions…he's awesome. Thanks Dr. Oza!)

So, the trial is a combination of two drugs that are both anti-angiogenics. That means that they attack the blood vessels and try to starve the tumours. They each work on different proteins though so there's a dual effect being felt by the vessels. It's similar to the drug Avastin I'd been doing but hopefully this combination will be more effective. The Avastin had worked on my tumours but then it stopped as the vessels found a way to work around it. Hopefully with the dual attack on the vessels, it will prevent the resistance.

Because this is a trial, there's a lot more testing and monitoring involved. I have to spend a couple of nights in the hospital -- because of the frequency of blood tests at the outset -- and get CT scans, MRIs and blood work ups. So, I will be closely monitored through the process. If it doesn't work, which I am optimistic that it will, I can always do the Caelyx – it isn't going anywhere.

So, that's the update for now. I will let you know how the monitoring goes and what the process is like. Thanks for all the support!


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