After 2 false starts I am now on the Rev-lite clinical trial for relapsed myeloma.
False start #1 was a lytic lesion suddenly detected in my right femur requiring hospitalisation for intramedullary reconstruction nailing.
False start #2. 14 days after discharge I could not put any weight on my right leg and it was very painful. An x-ray showed there was now a fracture in the lesion, in hospital for 8 more days.
Clinical trial summary:
My Rev-Lite trial commenced on Wednesday 28th April 2010.
Study title: Phase II trial of low dose Lenalidomide and dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (Rev-Lite) in patients at high risk for myelosuppression.
The purpose of the study is to see whether a lower dose of Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone is effective in treating multiple myeloma which has not responded or relapsed to prior treatment, while producing fewer side effects in comparison to the higher dose used in previous trials.
Brand name = Revlimid. Generic name =Lenalidomide.
Treatment for first 4 cycles of 28 days is:
Lenalidomide 15mg dose on days 1 to 21, then 7 days free.
Dexamethasone 20mg dose on days 1-4, 9-12, 17-20, and then 8 days free.
After 4 cycles the status of my disease will be reassessed. If my disease has shown improvement or remains stable I will continue on the study. If my disease has become worse my participation in the study will stop.
There are the normal warnings of many side effects.
In New Zealand we have a public health service. Unfortunately the funding agency Pharmac does not fund Valcade or Revlimid. They are approved for use in NZ and applications for public funding are in the system. We have to compete for the Pharmac dollar along with all the other cancers and illnesses. If we want it we have to fund it ourselves. Currently 6 months of Revlimid costs about NZ$50,000. The Rev-lite trial is at no cost to me.
Private health insurance for cancers is a recent development in NZ that is gaining popularity though the cost is alarming. Previously we had believed that the health service would be the provider. I did not qualify for the Valcade trial but do for the Rev-lite trial.
My myeloma journey continues.