Hi Fellow Teal Sisters
I have had a lot of bad luck on my journey with stage 3C inoperable, incurable, platinum-resistant cancer, so I am constantly researching for hopeful options for myself. If you have had a discussion about any of the targeted therapies see definitions here: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/targeted-therapy/types-of-targeted-therapy/
please share what you learned and what your oncologist told you about their 'allowed' use in Canada (I am in Ontario). Did your oncologist prescribe some of these directly or only put you on an approved trial? I read about a doctor in the USA (Dr. William Li) who did a deep dive on his mom's advanced endometrial cancer tumor type, found a targeted treatment and got her to complete remission
in months after 3 rounds of the treatment. Meanwhile, I am on weekly Avastin and Taxol - taking a weekly beating basically. It seems to be halting growth so far although my next CT scan and CA blood test are in 2 weeks, so we will see. As an end-user, I think to myself- they did the deep dive on my tumors and found a CDK and and NF1 mutation - how I would love a 3 - 6 months and done treatment instead of this long, drawn out process week after week waiting to see when it will stop helping me with lots of side-effects like blurry vision issues etc. I know that our responses to these targeted treatments are individual with no guarantees, but it just seems backwards to me. Why not try to 'cure' me in 3 months with a drug targeted to my
mutations rather than week after week of 'maybe it will, maybe it won't' generic treatments? Is it all about the cost of these targeted drugs? Is it too dangerous to hope they pick the right drug (the cancer could spread in the meantime)? Anyhow, I will discuss it with my oncologist, but I'm always interested in the experiences of others in Canada to compare notes. If you did get one of the drugs in the cancercouncil article, was it a last resort treatment after others no longer worked? My oncologist got me on Avastin (bevacizumab) even though he told me directly he didn't think he could get it approved for me as I didn't exactly fit the 'approved' criteria. My private insurance foots most of the bill though - probably why he got it approved. Which tells me the rules are not cast in stone. However, it horrifies me that they may have said no and my cancer would have likely continued to spread and grow - how is that even an ethical possibility in Canada? Did the manufacturing drug company, OHIP or you pay for your targeted drugs? The rules and what treatments are/are not approved in Canada are constantly changing so I'm trying to keep up and advocate for myself. BTW - I am very happy to still be here - given 'months to live' in spring of 2022!