Editorial note: Kate here, posting this on Brad’s behalf–he, in New York, dictated it to his mother Susan. Brad’s notes on today’s developments!
Today was a very significant and positive day. First of all, we got the results of Sloan Kettering’s scan, which showed only one remaining spot of elevated lymphatic activity in my body (in my lung), which is testimony to the ongoing effectiveness of the Rituxan. Moreover, their blood tests could not detect any signs of the Epstein-Barr virus that caused the B-cell lymphoma in the first place. Nevertheless, my doctor here decided to go ahead with the clinical trial treatment because, as he said, we have to assume the spot in my lung is lymphoma. And there may be undetected traces of the Epstein-Barr virus hanging around. So after some due or undue delays, I had my first infusion of genetically modified T-cells this afternoon. For those who are curious how these T-cells work, they have been modified to contain the Epstein-Barr virus receptor site, with the goal to destroy any residual EB virus. In essence, the strategy has been and remains to degrade this my second type of lymphoma with the Rituxan I was given at UC Davis and to eliminate it for good with the T-cells I’m getting here.
So far I am experiencing no ill effects whatsoever from the treatment and don’t anticipate any based on what my doctors have told me about other patients. Indeed I have been feeling very good during my entire stay in New York (touch wood) and have been having a great time with my parents, who have been a great help with the many logistics we have been negotiating here and with whom I have been happily sampling the many delights New York restaurants have to offer. Our accommodations are very comfortable and convenient thanks to Kate and of course New York itself is an exciting stimulus.
Here’s a picture of the treatment in progress: