cancer diary

13. The Ashdown Cycle

The CRP tests have given Martin Ashdown the data to pick up my oscillation. It appears my cycle has a periodicity of about 6 days. I’m not sure how to display the vertical line that occurs at 7.5 days (format incompatibility). This line marks the treatment window. When treatment occurs in this window the immune system is stimulated into action regardless of the type of cancer.

CRP is also appreciated to rise and fall with initiation and termination of the immune response. Our work has demonstrated that CRP is repeatedly oscillating up & down over an approx 7 day cycle in response to the tumor burden in a variety of malignancies. This oscillation suggests a continuous repeating process of the patient’s immune system switching “on & off” in response to the tumour. Mouse experiments have shown that appropriately timed chemotherapy can “jam” this response “on” leading to total tumour irradication in advanced disease.

Also our work suggests that when chemotherapy is spectacularly successful in a late stage or advanced patient, it is due to the chemotherapy fortuitously modulating a pre-existing suppressed anti-tumour immune response and not direct tumour toxicity. The 4th abstract discusses the immune suppression in prostate cancer patients. CRP when measured serially (near daily) appears to be a good, cheap, robust surrogate biomarker to time therapy.

As timing is the key to this form of treatment, I asked Martin if the timing of the surgery was important. Given my cycle, it would appear that the 11th is actually a good day for surgery (6 days after the 5th December when I had my last CRP measurement) . As I understand it, the notion of surgical vaccination means that my body will be responding to the damage inflicted my the knife at a point just left of peak and within the treatment window (this is good).

Martin’s work is at the frontier of the new oncology. Should the cancer come back to bite me, then this knowledge could direct the timing of further treatment and give me better chance.

I had a call from urologist this morning, he said they were not set up for video but that he would take some stills for me. I’d also asked him whether the pathologists report on my slightly enlarged left seminal vesicle set off any alarms. He said it was normal for them to be uneven and that my clinical stage was T1c. I’d rated it at T2c.

Running around today tidying up my affairs and basking in all the attention that I’m getting from friends and relatives. It feels good and I’m certainly not alone or isolated. How lucky I am!

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  1. Lisa Roberts

    Great stuff! This all sounds very positive.

    It’s really interesting to see the graph.

  2. Liz Dovey

    Sounds very positive. Encouraging that you’re getting treatment based on understanding from the scientific frontier.

  3. Simon

    Well, this (the CRP) is not coming from my urologist/surgeon. But I’m trying to get him interested. Potentially, this kind of treatment (getting your immune system to do the work) could put him out of business.

  4. Jane

    It’s 22.15GMT which means it’s already tomorrow with you. So, sending you love and best wishes for the op. Hope the urologist gets some photos to give you a sense of what happened while you were under the anaesthetic.

  5. Jen Lade

    Dear Simon and Susan,
    Good luck for today and thinking about you both.
    Lots of love
    Jen Lade

  6. Fawn

    Good on the urologist ….:) Go get em Si

    love and thoughts xxxx

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