I get CT scans and a brain MRI on August 27th. My next appointment after that is Septtember 1. If my scans show tumor shrinkage, or even tumor stasis (meaning the tumors are holding steady), I get put on just the one, newer drug (nivo) starting that day. This moves me into the second phase of the trial, and it requires infusions every other week for about a year because it’s so new they don’t know how long to give it for. Odds are 50% for shrinkage and higher (dunno how much higher) for stasis.
If it doesn’t look like the drugs have helped, I’m probably going to be pulled off them. At that point, I’m guessing they’ll put me on the BRAF drugs. Those have 90% odds of shrinking the tumors, but they only work short term so they’re the last resort. Basically, they buy time.
In related news, we found out a little more about why the study drugs take so damn long to be processed by the pharmacy. They require a million sign-offs, including someone from the drug company itself. So the drugs can just be sitting around for a while, waiting for someone’s electronic signature. Frustrating.