Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not Good News Today

I've participated in a study of a new drug called pomalidomide (originally called CC-4047) for 47 cycles now, each 28 days long. It's been a wonderful ride so far, with the cancer held stable for more than 3 1/2 years. Eventually every treatment fails, however, and when that happens I will see the cancer markers starting to increase.

They increased today. The blood test results at Mayo Clinic showed a 28% rise in immunoglobulin G (IgG), from 1020 to 1310 mg/dL, which is the largest jump in IgG since I started in the study. The monoclonal (naughty) component of immunoglobulin G is called M-Spike, and it increased too, though more modestly, from 1.0 to 1.1 g/dL. The results do go up and down, of course, for perfectly natural reasons, and they most likely will go down again next month. Or, they could continue on upward. Meanwhile, I'll be on pins and needles.

What if they do keep going up? There are several other treatments that my myeloma hasn't yet had a chance to outgrow, and some of them will undoubtedly help.

Better news: Calcium, kidney function, hemoglobin, and white counts are all within normal limits. I think that means that the myeloma most likely isn't hurting me yet.

Some Current Test Results:

Test    Jul 28    Aug 25    Sep 22    Oct 19     Remarks
M-spike g/dL 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.1 \ Tumor marker up
IgG mg/dL 1030 1150 1020 1310 / Tumor marker up
Lambda mg/dL 2.21 2.25 2.49 2.75 L Free light chains
Calcium mg/dL 9.8 10.5 10.0 10.0 OK
Creatinine mg/dL 1.3 1.1 0.9 1.1 Kidney, OK
HGB g/dL 15.1 14.7 14.9 14.6 Hemoglobin, OK
RBC M/uL 4.17 4.08 4.09 4.07 Red cells, low
WBC K/uL 5.1 3.8 6.2 4.8 White cells, normal
ANC K/uL 1.90 1.40 2.60 2.30 Neutrophils, normal

Related Links:

My Myeloma     A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.
My Treatment History Not technical.
My Test Charts Graphic displays of several key test results over time.
My Test Result Table Somewhat technical. Best with a wide browser window.
My Supplement Regimen With links to where I buy them.

Prepared by Sunshine on the road between Hartford and St Paul: Applegate organic chicken/turkey fire-roasted red pepper sausage, organic mustard, tuna dish (organic peas, tuna, organic brown rice), veggie dish (organic squash, organic sweet potatoes, onions), avocado:


  1. Hi Don, Sorry to hear this. But I need to clarify - the IGG has gone up more than the m-spike. Does this not show that you have more good IGG now (IGG minus m-sike=good IGG)- means your immune system is improving? What did the doc say?
    My doc always say it is better that our own immune system strengthen and combat the myeloma. But it does take a long time for the immune system to improve.

  2. Indeed Lileng you are right - the IgG went to 1310 while the m-spike only went to 1100, which means that 210 "good" IgG may be present. This is a larger difference than usual, the average is 127.

    It may indicate that my body is responding to some kind of infection, though I feel fine. It could also be simply a variance in test results, which are not especially accurate.

  3. Don,

    You're an inspiration. Keep going.

    I'll keep watching too, just like I watch my own numbers.

    All the best,
    Danny Parker