Eighty Days Post-Treatment

PSA history up through the completion of the three cycles of Provenge therapy

The graph shows my PSA history from diagnosis in 2004 to 9 days ago (October 11th). It is clear that the challenge to regain control of the cancer cell population has now become greater than any previous PSA excursion. The bone scan in late May also showed that many earlier sites of bone metastasis are again active – a large change in 11 months. At the top right-hand sides of the graph, the small “hook” to the right shows a substantial slowing of PSA in the prior month that may indicate something important is happening.
We were informed early on that the cellular immunotherapy with Provenge can be expected to reach its maximum effectiveness about 90 days after treatment completion. (Later revised to 180 days.)
At a September 18th presentation by an NIH researcher in cancer vaccines, we learned that a patient’s immune system typically needs about 90 days to train itself to “go after the bad guys.” We are now at the 80 day point. We have also observed other unusual physical responses since mid-August, e.g., large fluid retention in only my right leg.
It is a time for patience!

Watching for Signs of Treatment Effectiveness

The graph on the Recent Progress page shows my PSA history from diagnosis in 2004 to 9 days ago (October 11th). It is clear that the challenge to regain control of the cancer cell population has now become greater than any previous PSA excursion. The bone scan in late May showed that many earlier sites of bone metastasis are again active – a large change in since November 2009.
We were informed early on that the cellular immunotherapy with Provenge can be expected to reach its maximum effectiveness about 90 days after treatment completion.
At a September 18th presentation by an NIH researcher in cancer vaccines, we learned that a patient’s immune system typically needs about 90 days to train itself to “go after the bad guys.” We are now at the 80 day point.
There are some positive indicators that something important is happening. We have also observed other unusual physical responses since mid-August, e.g., large fluid retention the entire length of only my right leg.
It is a time for patience!