I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been working on getting genomic or DNA testing on a sample of my tumor.The idea is to find what mutations or abnormalities that the cancer cells have and match them to drugs that specifically target the mutations.
My doctor recommended a particular analysis offered by a company called Foundation Medicine. I’ve had a hard time finding out whether my insurance will pay for the testing or deny it because they consider it experimental. The test costs $6000, so I really would rather not have the test without knowing if it will be covered. Dr T happened to talk with someone at the Cancer Institute of NJ and found out they were doing the testing as part of a clinical trial. A coworker did some research for me to find out which Dr was running the trial and I left a message for her. She called me tonight and said that she thought I would be eligible for the trial. I have an appointment with her on Tuesday!!
I am super excited about this and I am sure that seems crazy. Since I found out the test might not be covered by insurance I have been really stressed about it. By participating in the trial I’ll get the testing done for free. When the results come back they will be reviewed by a panel of experts who will make recommendations for me for future treatment, basing their suggestions on the test results, previous treatment I’ve received, and what drugs are available either to the general public or through a clinical trial. Their suggestions would be sent to Dr. T and she would continue as my primary oncologist. I love the idea of getting a high tech consultation but having Dr T manage my care.
As a side note, my tumor markers are stable (94.1) and my liver enzymes are greatly improved compared to last month. So lots of good news tonight!