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  • in reply to: Progression #83488
    mbachini
    Moderator

    I agree with Emad….Cancer JUST SUCKS!!

    in reply to: Passed Away #83545
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Dear Rosegrace,

    My condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law. It sounds like she made the most of the time she had left here….being from Montana, I can tell you she got a glimpse of heaven going to Glacier and Yellowstone! Praying for peace and strength for your family.
    Melinda

    in reply to: Update on my brother #83506
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Peggy,
    I am so sorry that your brother and your family are going through such a difficult, exhausting and heartbreaking time. I wish I had some words of wisdom to help you through. All I can offer is my prayer for strength, comfort for your brother and peace to be able to face all the treatments and decisions. God Bless….Melinda B.

    mbachini
    Moderator

    Sara,
    Just a thought….if you can’t get her into see an oncologist, maybe you should just head to the ER. They will then have to figure out what is going on and be able to get the right people contacted to get the ball rolling for hospice???? Hang in there, my prayers are with you and your sister!!
    Sending strength,
    Melinda

    mbachini
    Moderator

    I know that I have heard the docs at NIH talk about this treatment and the excitement of the prospects…..I also know that it is considered as one of my backup plans. I am hoping not to have to have a back up plan but boy oh boy it is comforting to know there will be another option!!
    Melinda

    in reply to: my mom has passed #83442
    mbachini
    Moderator

    I am so sorry for our loss. Praying for peace and strength for you and your family.
    Melinda

    mbachini
    Moderator

    Willow, that is such awesome news! Praying for great results! Melinda

    in reply to: Update on NIH Trial #78735
    mbachini
    Moderator

    All,
    This is the response I received from the research scientist at NIH in regards to the tumor sequencing. It is quite an education, especially for my simple mind. I hope this helps and I appreciate his quick response and honesty at the end. This is his reply:

    There are several types of sequencing, the most widely used in the clinic is “targeted sequencing”. This type of sequencing only looks at a relatively small number of genes and tests to see if these genes contain mutations. The reason why this is used in the clinic is because mutations in these specific genes can predict whether a certain drug will be effective or not, so this can be used to guide a treatment. However, this type of sequencing would likely not be very helpful to us because only a relatively small number of genes are assessed. With fewer genes assessed, we would have much fewer (or no) mutations to test. It’s already a “needle in a haystack” when we look at all the mutations, so it would be more like a “needle in a football stadium” if we only evaluated a few mutations.

    Then there is whole-genome sequencing (WGS), and whole-exome sequencing (WES), both of which can evaluate the presence of mutations in most genes in the human genome. These are the types of sequencing that we can use. Both can give reliable data if the “read coverage” is high enough. What this means is that the “deeper” we sequence (the more sequence reads we get for a particular gene), then the more confident we are that it is a true mutation. For example, if we only detected one sequence containing the mutation out of 5 sequences read, this would be 20% mutation frequency, but we would be more confident that this is a true mutation if we detected, say, 20 sequences out of 100 sequences read (still 20%). This is because there are errors that can occur during DNA sequencing. The 1/5 could be an error and therefore not a real mutation, however, it’s statistically less likely that 20 errors occurred out of the 100.

    The difference between whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing is that whole genome is just that, it reads every single base in your genome. However, you might remember that the importance of DNA is that it ultimately encodes for protein, which is what does all the work in our cells and tissues. It turns out that only about 1-2% of the entire genome encodes for protein. So whole-exome sequencing just sequences this 1-2% of the genome. Since mutations are only relevant to use if they affect the protein, whole-exome sequencing can be more efficient (since you don’t have to sequence 98-99% of the irrelevant DNA). Both have the advantages and disadvantages (which I won’t get into here).

    But to answer your question, we have used both whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, although the vast majority of our experience is with whole-exome. It is also very important that both the tumor and a normal source of DNA from the same patient are sequenced. For example, you can sequence peripheral blood cells (from a blood draw) as a source of normal DNA. We need this as a reference to identify what is a true mutation (since, in most cases, only the tumor will have the mutation).

    So in an ideal situation, a patient would come into clinic with their tumor already sequenced. This would save us about 3-4 weeks in our testing process. However, as you know, there are many factors that have to fulfilled before a patient could even be enrolled onto our protocol. There are the clinical parameters that have to be fulfilled, and it turns out when our MDs screen patients, unfortunately many are not eligible. And there are also limitations in our lab and clinical trial capacity, since we can only handle a relatively small number of patients at any one given time.

    So I guess one thing I would make clear to potential patients is that even if they get sequencing done, there’s no guarantee that he/she would make it onto our trial. And even if they make it onto our trial, we are at such an early stage of research and development that we don’t know if we would even find mutation-reactive T cells to use for treatment. Although it would be unfortunate if patients got sequencing done and couldn’t get onto our trial, it potentially wouldn’t be for nothing, because the sequencing data could be used to advance science; genomics experts around the world are working together to catalogue the sequences of thousands and thousands of tumors to try to understand cancer better which hopefully will lead to better treatments in the future.

    I can’t tell you how much I admire this young man…..hope it helps! Melinda :)

    in reply to: CLEAN SCAN #83370
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Awesome news! Definitely worth sharing! Celebration in order!
    Melinda

    in reply to: Four years cancer free! #83312
    mbachini
    Moderator

    I love the word HOPE! Congratulations to you and your mom!
    Melinda

    in reply to: Information, please #82939
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Dear Larissa,
    I am so sorry for your loss. You remind me of my niece and the bond we share and I can picture her in your shoes. I will pray for peace and strength for you and your family during this time.
    Blessings,
    Melinda

    in reply to: lung mets #82736
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Okay…so I just have to chime in here real quick. I will also post this in the clinical trial section as an answer to the questions asked there. I have to say that genome sequencing has been a huge success in my clinical trial at NIH, it is what helped find the reactive t-cell and ultimately been shrinking my tumors….so in response to the questions asked in the clinical trial section, I contacted my research scientist at NIH to ask what exactly he needed for sequencing. Below is the response he sent and it was very educating to my simple mind! I hope this helps to answer some questions………

    There are several types of sequencing, the most widely used in the clinic is “targeted sequencing”. This type of sequencing only looks at a relatively small number of genes and tests to see if these genes contain mutations. The reason why this is used in the clinic is because mutations in these specific genes can predict whether a certain drug will be effective or not, so this can be used to guide a treatment. However, this type of sequencing would likely not be very helpful to us because only a relatively small number of genes are assessed. With fewer genes assessed, we would have much fewer (or no) mutations to test. It’s already a “needle in a haystack” when we look at all the mutations, so it would be more like a “needle in a football stadium” if we only evaluated a few mutations.

    Then there is whole-genome sequencing (WGS), and whole-exome sequencing (WES), both of which can evaluate the presence of mutations in most genes in the human genome. These are the types of sequencing that we can use. Both can give reliable data if the “read coverage” is high enough. What this means is that the “deeper” we sequence (the more sequence reads we get for a particular gene), then the more confident we are that it is a true mutation. For example, if we only detected one sequence containing the mutation out of 5 sequences read, this would be 20% mutation frequency, but we would be more confident that this is a true mutation if we detected, say, 20 sequences out of 100 sequences read (still 20%). This is because there are errors that can occur during DNA sequencing. The 1/5 could be an error and therefore not a real mutation, however, it’s statistically less likely that 20 errors occurred out of the 100.

    The difference between whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing is that whole genome is just that, it reads every single base in your genome. However, you might remember that the importance of DNA is that it ultimately encodes for protein, which is what does all the work in our cells and tissues. It turns out that only about 1-2% of the entire genome encodes for protein. So whole-exome sequencing just sequences this 1-2% of the genome. Since mutations are only relevant to use if they affect the protein, whole-exome sequencing can be more efficient (since you don’t have to sequence 98-99% of the irrelevant DNA). Both have the advantages and disadvantages (which I won’t get into here).

    But to answer your question, we have used both whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, although the vast majority of our experience is with whole-exome. It is also very important that both the tumor and a normal source of DNA from the same patient are sequenced. For example, you can sequence peripheral blood cells (from a blood draw) as a source of normal DNA. We need this as a reference to identify what is a true mutation (since, in most cases, only the tumor will have the mutation).

    So in an ideal situation, a patient would come into clinic with their tumor already sequenced. This would save us about 3-4 weeks in our testing process. However, as you know, there are many factors that have to fulfilled before a patient could even be enrolled onto our protocol. There are the clinical parameters that have to be fulfilled, and it turns out when our MDs screen patients, unfortunately many are not eligible. And there are also limitations in our lab and clinical trial capacity, since we can only handle a relatively small number of patients at any one given time.

    So I guess one thing I would make clear to potential patients is that even if they get sequencing done, there’s no guarantee that he/she would make it onto our trial. And even if they make it onto our trial, we are at such an early stage of research and development that we don’t know if we would even find mutation-reactive T cells to use for treatment. Although it would be unfortunate if patients got sequencing done and couldn’t get onto our trial, it potentially wouldn’t be for nothing, because the sequencing data could be used to advance science; genomics experts around the world are working together to catalogue the sequences of thousands and thousands of tumors to try to understand cancer better which hopefully will lead to better treatments in the future.

    What a lot of information…..Hope to everyone! Melinda

    in reply to: Update on NIH Trial #78732
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Thanks for all the support…..I will do some cartwheels for sure and imagine both Lainy and Gavin next to me!!

    Jason and Marion,
    I don’t know the specifics on the sequencing, but I am more than happy to find out! It is not required to have it done before applying for the trial, it just saves time if you already have it done.
    Yes Jason, a whole year will have past without treatment! Nothing could make me happier! As soon as I get a response on the specifics, I will post them here.

    I have such hope….Melinda

    in reply to: Update on NIH Trial #78726
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Hello All,

    I returned from NIH this week….8 months post treatment. I received wonderful news! I continue to have shrinkage in tumors, somewhere around a total of 42% overall since treatment. The other good news was that I had a PET scan for the first time since diagnosis of mets to lungs and it showed no evidence of metabolic activity in the tumors in my liver. I don’t have to return to NIH for about 4 months, which seems like a lifetime to me! I feel so happy and so very blessed!

    They told me that they were overwhelmed with calls after the articles came out, something like 400 calls in a couple of days! I also have been contacted via email, facebook, caringbridge and good old fashioned home phone….not hard to find my last name listed in the phone book….by so, so, many people! It has been an amazing journey. People just want HOPE! I even had the opportunity to meet some fellow fighters while I was back east this week.

    I hate hearing when patients are not accepted into this trial. It breaks my heart, and while I know it may not work for everyone, it saddens me that people who are out of options can’t give it a try. I do know that the scientists are working extremely hard to perfect this treatment and are so very hopeful for other treatments coming up. I encourage anyone interested to still give NIH a call. I also know that it is a time saver to have the tumor sequencing already done, the scientist that works on my cells said that alone saves a month worth of work on his part, and we all know how important time is. I want to help in any way I can so please don’t hesitate to contact me. I believe that we will be seeing some good results in the next couple of months and I can’t wait to have more success stories!

    All my thoughts, prayers and love to you all,
    Melinda

    in reply to: Who to Believe – Hemangiomas or is it something more? #83174
    mbachini
    Moderator

    Trish,
    My GI doc insisted that my mass was a hemangioma, told me I had nothing to worry about but that they would do a tagged red blood cell study to help diagnose. According to the results, they said it ruled out hemangioma and then sent me for biopsy…and the rest is history. So please be sure and find out what it is….Melinda

Viewing 15 posts - 466 through 480 (of 500 total)