Week 144: Mystery of the increasing tumor marker CEA

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Week 144 in the war on lung cancer has passed. Here are highlights:

  • We went to an ear-nose-throat specialist and she concluded that it sounded like Dyanne has had this benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Based on some tests she did, it seems like it now has gone away. To help improve the balance issues, she suggested going for a 30 minute walk every day and to try to look around while walking (i.e. not looking straight ahead). So if anyone is keen on an evening walk in Sagene area in the coming weeks, do not hesitate to reach out 🙂
  • The nausea unfortunately seems to have come back. Hopefully it will go over again soon.
  • We have not yet gotten the results of the MR scan of the brain. Should learn results this coming week.

The tumor marker CEA unfortunately continues to rise. Below is a chart that shows the development of this marker. The immunotherapy treatment Dyanne has received, as well as the local treatments, have also been marked on the chart. Can any sense be made from this? I kind of feel the chart it is like a Dan Brown mystery that is waiting to be resolved. If anyone has any input, then do let me know.

Some comments on the chart:

  • “Nivo” means “nivolumab”, “ipi” means “ipilimumab” and “Neo” refers to the neoantigen vaccine Dyanne is receiving in Germany.
  • Dyanne has gotten osimertinib throughout the whole period.
  • She has taken fluvastatin, celecoxib and mebendazole in the whole period too, except the last few weeks.
  • She has gotten zoledronic acid (zometa) throughout the whole period too. However, the frequency has been lower in the past 6 months.
  • The supplements she has taken have been pretty stable in the whole period.

What to make of this chart? Is CEA a useful indicator for Dyanne? Is there anything else than progressing cancer that can have caused the latest CEA rise? Does the chart suggest that the immunotherapy treatments are working? Or not?

Any input and comments on this would be much appreciated.

Finally, I turned 40 years this week. This was celebrated yesterday with a party at our place. Below is a picture from the event 🙂 Thanks to everyone who, in various ways, helped  make this a memorable day!

Lars’ 40th birthday party

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