A Clinical Trial?

On Monday, Feb. 6, we went to UAB in Birmingham to checkout  a clinical trial called ICT-107 for newly diagnosed patients with GBM (glioblastoma).  It is being carried out at 25 cancer centers throughout the US and is showing some promise. Basically it involves harvesting stem cells, treating them and six weeks later, after radiation and chemo at home, returning to have the treated stem cells injected back into the body.  It was a grueling day, made a little easier by the Research Nurse Coordinator, Cathie Robinson, who spent the day with us as we went through each department; Radiology for the MRI; lab for the blood work, etc.  We met with the neuro-oncologist, Dr. Burt Nabors, who was so nice.  I think he would have spent hours talking with us if necessary.  So now we are waiting to learn if Gorman qualifies for this trial by being HLA posititive.  If he is among the 60% of people who are HLA positive, that means he has the ability to bind the injected stem cells.  If not, he will not be able to participate in the clinical trial.  If some physician is reading my description of this process, he is probably laughing but this is the general idea.  We should hear about this tomorrow or Friday.  Then Gorman has to decide if he want to proceed with this, which is not such a “no-brainer” as it sounds.  A clinical trial usually means 2/3 of participants get the vaccine (treated stem-cells) and one-third receive their stem cells untreated.  It is a blind trial so  none of the folks at UAB, including the doctors, know who gets the vaccine and who is in the “control group”.  It is daunting to Gorman to think of spending much of the next few years (if he has that much time) driving up I-65 when it may all be for naught.

When I had the idea of this blog, I determined that I would not go on and on, boring everyone to death but here I am.  It’s hard to sum up in a few words, intricate issues and complicated decisions, not to mention the ongoing turmoil that follows us each day, often punching us in the stomach but I will end tonight by saying that we know our God is holding us in the palm of his hand.  He has seen us through some dark days in the past and we stand firm in knowing that He will see us through this trial.

Posted on February 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. THANKS for keeping us informed. We love you’ll!

  2. Beverly, rest assured that you are certainly not boring us. If we didn’t want to know, we wouldn’t be logging in to check! Praying specifically that God will guide the decision making process should Gorman qualify for the study. Praying also for your strength and courage.

  3. God bless..God bless

  4. Thank you, Beverly, for writing and keeping all of us who love you & Gorman informed. We are praying; we love you both. Joy & Mike

  5. Thank you for the update. We are all praying for you and Gorman. Hopefully this clinical trial will be the answer to our prayers for G. Thanks, jak

  6. Thanks for this blog to help keep us aware and understand what is going on and what Gorman is going through. Missy and I, our Bible Study group, and Church are praying for you now and will continue in the days, weeks and months ahead. God Bless.

  7. Thank you. Our love to you and your family. Dianne and Clay

  8. stephanie morris

    Beverly and Gorman, Please know you are in our hearts and prayers. I am grateful for this blog so we can be pulling for ya’ll throughout this journey. May our mighty and loving God bless you and your family – much love and peace.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to let us know the treatment options for Gorman and how well you two are doing in this difficult situation. The UAB clinical trial sounds promising. Take care and, as many others say to you, let me know if there is anything I can do to lend a hand.

  10. Dear Beverly, We are so sorry to hear of this illness from Chris and know we will be praying for you and also I will put Gorman on my Sunday School prayer list tomorrow. My class is a class of grace and prayer. Love, Chris and Carol Grillis

  11. Adam told me of your blog and Archie and I are so grateful to have the updated information. We, along with all your friends will storm heaven’s gates with incessant prayers for all of you!! We send our love!

  12. Whoops…now I’m not anonymous!

  13. Beverly and Gorman,
    Jim and I continue in prayer for you. Your beautiful lives shine through the words–keep writing, Beverly! Much love to you both,

  14. Aylett Conner Dickman

    Oh Beverly, my heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for letting us know what’s happening. I loved that picture of Gorman ,
    Grady, and Charlie. gorman looks so much like his father, who was a favorite of mine. Katherine sent me this news of G;s illness a few weeks ago, and I told Ruthie and Rick. Since I visited Katherine in the summer and went with them on their beach trip, I probably knew G better than any of my siblings. As I recall, he and his friend were always cooking up ways to trick us. Margaret of course was like a sister to my father Richard, as he and Anne grew up in the same house with Great Gran, the Patttersons, and my grandmther Carolyne. there was some great cooking in that house! I’m just rambling but all this comes back as I think of the struggles you all are having and the blessings you and Gorman, that mischievous kid cousin I knew, have brought to your extended family and friends. Love and Prayers, Aylett

  15. Jann (and George) Puckett

    Beverly and Gorman – much love sent your way. SO glad Gloria was able to forward us this blog – and surely others understand some of this news better than a ‘non physician’ type like me, but I do understand the part about the drive for the long period of trials and not knowing how it may or may not be helping you. I understand it is helping someone! Know you are in our prayers. – every day. God bless.
    Jann and George Puckett

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