I’ve been waiting for something positive to post and today we actually received some positive news – that the particular strain of Fabian’s leukaemia is still positive. Feeling confused? Well, biomedical devotees of this blog may recall that each leukaemia is identifiable by a protein marker which in Fabian’s case is known as CD19 +ve. This information is vital to the efficacy of the immunotherapy as the T cells are engineered to only recognise that marker and the real fear was that following the failure of the first T cell infusion, the disease may have mutated into CD19-ve (cancers have a habit of being remarkably clever when resisting attack). Thankfully then, this is not the case and this means it is full steam ahead with the new batch of T cells next month (cue loud applause). The recent biopsy though, did sadly confirm the lump was cancerous. The most effective, if horrendous, treatment for this is radiotherapy and this is set to start straight after Easter on a daily basis for two weeks. Because it is localised, Fabian will have to have a lead apron shaped around the area to protect other vital organs. He’s also back on a low regimen chemo protocol just to keep disease levels in check. As anticipated, this is knocking his blood counts for six so we’re back to our old friend neutropaenia rearing its annoying head.
People always want to know how Fabian is coping and my answer is always to say better than expected. I’m honestly in awe of his mental toughness to keep going despite the seemingly endless hospital trips and treatment and the perpetual inconvenience of having intravenous lines and blood tests. Most of all, I know he is not afraid even when all of us who know and love him are. Please, if you can, pray that the side effects are minimal and that the disease is held at MRD level.