Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baxter update

I think my satellite has moved, so I haven't been able to connect in four days. I finally called tech support today to get a technician to look at it. It's frustrating, but hopefully nothing major. Currently, I'm sitting at a nearby Starbucks to connect and just had a lovely mocha frappucino!

Anyway, I wanted to give a quick update on Baxter. I spoke with the University of Minnesota vet on Wednesday about the study. There are actually two going on--one with gene therapy/vaccine therapy alone, the other a combination of chemotherapy/vaccine therapy. She thinks the gene and vaccine therapy have produced better results so far, so I'm hoping to get Baxter into that one. It just depends on whether the DNA they have to insert into the brain will be there by the time he gets up there. He is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 4th to have surgery. At that time, if he is in the gene/vaccine therapy study, they would go ahead and insert the genes that will eventually help stimulate an immune response to destroy leftover tumor cells. This website on glioma gene therapy explains it much better. It truly is a breakthrough study.

After that, they send the vaccine to the your local vet which is just like giving any vaccination. Then, Baxter would go back at 3, 6, and 12 months for an MRI. If he is in the chemo/vaccine study, he would have surgery and then chemotherapy given orally for 40 days plus the vaccine therapy, and again go back at 3, 6, and 12 months like the other study.

In general, Baxter is doing well. I just worry about his weight loss and the fact he is still soooo hungry, even though he has been off the prednisone for several days now. I hope this is not a permanent side effect!

That's the news on him. I'll keep everyone updated. I've never been to MN, so if anyone knows of interesting things to do there and would like to share, I'd be happy to hear.

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