Re: [MOL] Fwd: Thalidomide - To Bess [00987] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Fwd: Thalidomide - To Bess

Dear Chris:
     If you don't mind my asking, what kind of cancer did/does your father 
have, with or without mets, what chemo and other treatments did he do before 
starting thalidomide?  And how long has he taken the thalidomide?  Also where 
is he being treated?
     We are at a nervewracking crossroads now.  As I said, Tom had to stop 
the taxol/carbo after 5 rounds because if he continued the neuropathy would 
become permanent.  As it is, it still bothers him a lot and I have to massage 
his feet every night.  I don't know what the gemzar has done--he's taken it 
sporadically due to low platelet WBC counts.  This coming week we will 
evaluate his condition with bone, chest CT and brain, ab/pelvis MRIs and by 
the following week we will know something.  Obviously he can't continue on 
chemo indefinitely.  If he were to take thalidomide I don't know about the 
neuropathy issue although I've read that ethol? can help with it.  Wanda will 
enter the Phase I combretastatin trial at UPenn this week but we are really 
nervous about a Phase I trial.  Our own onc here in NY is about to start a 
Phase II Pfizer EGF (epidermal growth factor) drug-similar to MSKCC's Zeneca 
Iressa.  And I just learned about a company in Quebec that's currently in a 
Phase III trial for a drug called Redicell? that's a very potent liquid shark 
extract and seems to work on an angiogenesis principal also.  They also sell 
a nutritional supplement of it that isn't quite as potent and works on a 
different mechanism as the one in the trial but it is the only liquid one 
available and must be kept frozen till use.  I will investigate this further 
this week.  A leading AIDS onc I know from my medical writing had suggested 
thalidomide when I first spoke to him when Tom was diagnosed back in June.  
But since AIDS is borne by blood, it probably works best there.  
    Our onc, as I mentioned, is willing to give us thalidomide if we want but 
doesn't have much confidence in it and also we would have to pay for it 
ourselves since it isn't approved for lung use per se.  Our insurance is SO 
expensive-BlueCross Deluxe PPO but so difficult about paying every little 
    Sorry to ramble on.  Many thanks for your help.  All the best.  Bess
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