Seeking DC Vaccine–The Reason Why I Go For It

The gap between expectation and the reality

An article in Inspire (a cancer virtual community) said there is a discrepancy between the participants in the phase 1 clinical trial and the reality regarding the effect: The majority of participants join the trial because they are seeking a cure, running out of options of treatment, recommended by an oncologist, or want to help future patients, and 3/4 of them expect their tumors will shrink. Yet in reality, the phase one clinical trial’s drug response rates are typically between 4-20% and median over all survival duration is 6 months according to the article.

This explains why Kaiser doesn’t support phase one studies, but the poor numbers of the effectiveness didn’t surprise me. I have learned that although the medicine advances day by day, it is still a small step. I started searching a clinical trial because that was my oncologist’s advice, who was concerned me running out of treatment options. Yet, why did I choose the vaccine phase 1 study even going against the doctor’s opinion? I’ve been wondering about it.

The reasons why I chose the vaccine

First I spent so many hours searching the possible trials but I was disqualified for most phase 3 trials because I have used up most drugs the study wants to compare with the new drugs, and my choices were just a few. Most of them were phase one trials, which I can’t use Kaiser insurance but the vaccine is covered by National Cancer Institute.

Secondly, I was getting tired and weary with the side effects, but the vaccine seems to have only a flu-like reaction as a side-effect right after the shots though it may affect the heart also because the study includes the long-term observation of the heart function.

Thirdly, since when I first read and heard the news of  the vaccine’s success in 2011, I was impressed so much that I have been waiting for it and now it became reachable.

Fourthly I was convinced by the logic or hypothesis of the study, the breathtaking animal study’s result, and part 1 human being study result (50% response rate) that were explained by the study chief doctor, whom I will meet next week in NCI.

And lastly, maybe this is silly, but I felt some connection between two “Bethesda”s, in Maryland and in Israel where I prayed for healing with George and friends two years ago. Maybe the prayer in Bethesda, Islael will be granted in Bethesda Maryland.

Going against the doctor is crazy and I understand the risks I face including death, but at least if I can give data for the future patients, it won’t be wasted. Dr. Slamon at UCLA said it takes a long time to see the result, maybe 5-6 months, which is a time to complete four shots of the vaccine. If it won’t work on me, I am hoping that I will leave the study before it gets too late and get on something else.

New drug is in the pipeline 

Seems like in a year, a new targeting drug for HER2 + breast cancer will be approved by the FDA. I wish at least the vaccine to be effective until then.

God has been so good to me navigating and sustaining my life for last 6 and a half years. He never makes mistakes. His plan is perfect. Thus I have to trust in Him no matter what. I will leave for the screening in 4 days.

3 thoughts on “Seeking DC Vaccine–The Reason Why I Go For It

  1. Kathy, we wish you a safe and successful journey. I will be waiting to hear how things are progressing. We are praying and sending good thoughts your way. God bless you Kathy. Love Aunt Pat

  2. Aunt Pat,
    Thank you for the encouragement! I will leave in two days! A few days ago, the forecast in Bethesda said rain almost the entire week we will stay, and then now rain marks disappeared. This is another good sign. I took it as God’s blessing. 🙂

  3. Amen! As You have Proclaimed,
    God has been so good to You, Navigating and Sustaining Your Life for last 6 and a half years.
    He never makes mistakes. His Plan is Perfect. Thus You have to Trust in Him no matter what.
    Thank You Dear Lord for Your Good Plan for Kathy’s Everlasting Life! Kathy, You are Precious in His Sight! His Light Shines Upon You! He Comforts You! God’s Blessings be upon You and George!

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