Week 61 in the war on cancer has passed. Here are the highlights:
- Dyanne has been in pretty good shape all week. A bit tired on some days, but not too bad. She still also has the rash on her legs (rash on arms have almost disappeared) and is applying steroid cream to keep it in check.
- As many will remember, there is an air pollution problem in Oslo. Having the choice between evacuating the city (not exactly what we would want) or buying an air purifier, we settled on the latter option. We found out that the best in class machine was an IQAir HealthPro Plus (in Europe branded as IQAir HealthPro 250). Being the stingy person I am, I found out it was quite a bit cheaper to buy this machine from the US than here in Norway. Despite warnings that the IQAir machines made for the US should not be used in Europe, I proceeded and ordered the machine from a US website. With the great help of Anuja, who carried the machine from New York to London, and then Asbjørn and his family (who carried it from London to Oslo), we finally got the machine a couple of weeks back. Despite 5 years of study to become an engineer, it took me less than a minute to break the machine. I plugged it in, using a normal travel adapter, and a few seconds later there was a “pooff” and the machine was dead. To make a long story short: we had to order a spare part from the US (thank you Colbjørn and your sister!), bought a transformer to convert Norwegian electricity to US level (220V to 110V), had my dad fit the spare part on the machine (with the help of Dyanne – I kept a safe distance), and, finally, the machine is now up and running and cleaning the air in our appartment! A picture of the engineering (but not design) beauty is attached. Please don’t ask how much we, in the end, saved by ordering the machine from the US…
- While we are on the air purification topic: it turns out that Oslo University Hospital have a quite secret office which can provide, for free, air purifiers to patients who need them. The air purifiers they provide may not be exactly the same quality as the IQAir machine we got int he US, but, for good measure, we have now also gotten a machine from them. Hopefully the air in our flat will now be fresh as, well, fresh air…
Although Christmas is still some time away, I decided to this week add a little wish list as part of this blog post. As mentioned in last week’s blogg post, we have some, very preliminary, results from the personalized peptide vaccine and these indicate that the vaccine has helped generate an immune response. The wish list is related to the vaccine and immunotherapy treatment Dyanne is getting. Here is what I would be very grateful if we could get done:
- I would like to measure the immune response not only against the 13 peptides that have been included in the vaccine (which is what currently is being done in Germany), but against ALL tumor specific mutations that have been identified by the whole exome sequencing. I don’t know exactly how many mutations we are talking about, but it is probably in the range of 100-200. If anyone knows how this can be done, and where it could be done, please do reach out to me (email: ).
- The second point on my wish list is the following: a way to separate from Dyanne’s blood immune cells that are reacting to tumor specific mutations. These immune cells (once they have been identified and sorted out) should then be multiplied in vitro and re-infused in Dyanne. Anyone who could help with getting this done, please do contact me. PS: If this sounds like science fiction, it is only because it was science fiction until someone did it (at least in a lab…). Here is a paper by two Israeli researchers describing the approach: MHC-multimer guided isolation of neoepitopes specific T cells as a potent-personalized cancer treatment strategy.
This coming week Dyanne will do new MR and CT scans. She will also go to Germany to get a new vaccine injection. I might go out and grab a beer on Wednesday this week. If anyone would like to join, please get in touch.