Week 11 - Drug cocktail discussions in Barcelona

Written by Dyanne Soraas

Week 11 in the war on cancer has been spent in the Catalan capital, Barcelona. Here we have mixed research, treatment and holiday. Highlights include:
-Monday: we participated in a meeting between Dr Rafael Rosell and his team and Dr Richard Kast. Dr Rosell (and his team) are world leading lung oncologists. Dr Kast has spearheaded the CUSP (Coordinated Undermining of Survival Paths) project in brain cancer (glioblastoma). The CUSP concept is to use a cocktail of re-purposed drugs to treat brain cancer, and it is is one of the most exciting things that has happened for brain cancer patients since Jesus walked the planet. The purpose of the meeting was to try to develop a similar cocktail for lung cancer. And it was a good meeting.
-Wednesday: Dyanne got another injection of nivolumab at Instituto OGruncologico Dr Rosell here in Barcelona.
-We also learned this week that the blood concentration of erlotinib, for unknown reasons, is at even lower levels than before. It is time to try to raise the level by taking the pills with some food and juice (maybe even grapefruit juice).
-We got the results of some testing done in Germany on the tumor tissue from the biopsy done in August. The results show that tumor cells express the estrogen beta receptor (although only in the nucleus and not cytoplasm) as well as the progesterone receptor. The estrogen alpha receptor and the androgen receptors were not expressed. Does this mean the cancer cells are sensitive to anti-estrogen therapies usually used in breast cancer? We don’t know, but will try to find out.
-We also have experimented with aspirin and celecoxib to try to boost the immune response from immunotherapy. Side effects led us to stop. And new research suggests that maybe the best would be to use Toradol (ketorolac).
-Side effects wise, Dyanne has been in good shape. Some coughing the last few days which we don’t know if is due to the nivolumab (coughing is a common side effect) or something else.
Our stay here in Barcelona has been brightened by the visit of Lisa and Nikolaos. Thank you both for some great moussaka, babysitting and conversations. Dyanne and I have discussed and decided that you will move to Oslo in the middle of November. We have an apartment ready for you.
Thanks also, as almost every week, to the amazing Niki, her boss Dr Rosell, and the pioneer Dr Richard Kast. All three truly care for their patients, are exceptionally dedicated in their work, and have both the brains, the ingenuity and guts to to rid the planet of lung cancer. Too bad for us they did not walk the planet the same time as Jesus.
Friday beer: Boise, and American IPA, from Bidassoa Basque Brewery. It was very good; hope it is not treason to drink it here in the Catalonian capital.

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