Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dendritic cells based vaccine: a novel option says Dr Kirkwood at UPMC

Dendritic cells contain a receptor (DNGR-1) which mobilises an immune response after coming across an abnormal cell death (necrosis). They act as messengers, alerting other types of immune cells to kill invaders. After a simple blood draw, lymphocytes are sent to a lab where the new dendritic cells are mixed with melanoma peptides in an attempt to train the cells much like providing a scent for a K-9 unit. This treatment will require a hospital stay of 4 days for an initial DC injection. Unlike Il-2, there are minimal side effects and is not toxic for the liver as is chemotherapy.

I like this as an option because like Gerson, we are simply trying to build the immune system and provide tools that the body can use to ward off cancer cells. Dr Kirkwood also supported my involvement in the BRAF trial at UPENN when it opens. I did learn that UPMC will also offer the same trial, so my name is now in both systems waiting for the first to open. He said very confidently that I will likely have a typical response from PLX4032 and reduce tumor burden, we will then pick up with the DC vaccine and get rid of it for good. -- I love that idea!

During our chat, I had brought up the fact that NIH wants to reevaluate my case (possibly because of this recent discovery) after the BRAF trial. What I love about Dr Kirkwood was his response. "I think that you should not close any doors. You want to have many options available."

Dr Kirkwood, would you be my oncologist? Please check [ ] yes or [ ] no. :)

My plan is shaping up quite nicely now. It all begins by fighting the hurricane winds in Mexico. Upon returning I will consider two new, novel and non-toxic approaches for fighting Malignant Melanoma.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Esta siempre en mis pensamientos y oraciones.

The biggest hurricane to blow into Mexico next week will be you and Mema to pump up your immune system!

Things sound like they are looking up getting the docs to see things your way. Keep it up Mike!!