Today's visit to the oncologist brought news that the PSA is now down to 3.9 -- which is wonderful news. It means the hormone treatments are still working. However, for some reason, Marshall was in a huge funk today and stayed there all day long. So it was a very confusing day for me.
Dr. Flaig brought up the suggestion that Marshall might want to participate in a clinical trial. The standard approach for patients with prostate cancer that has spread into the bones is the removal of testosterone with hormone therapy. In some patients the prostate cancer will resume and spread, at which time chemotherapy is then offered to those patients. The purpose of this clinical study is to determine if patients who received six treatments of chemotherapy (docetaxel) at the time of initial hormone therapy do any better than the patients who receive hormone therapy followed by chemo at a later time. This clinical trial will be made up of close to 800 men nationwide and since the men in the study need to be in the early stages of their treatment, Marshall's window of opportunity to sign up for this study will be gone in the next four weeks.
This will be a randomized study, meaning that if Marshall does sign up for this, he may or may not be in the group that gets chemo. All 800 names are thrown into the computer and the computer chooses which man gets which treatment. We were introduced to the fellow coordinating the study at the U of C and he talked with us a while and then gave us materials to bring home. So Marshall will be thinking about this in the coming weeks.
We asked Dr. Flaig if there was anything that could be done to make the hot flashes easier to bear and he said some men have a lot of luck using a very light dose of an antidepressant. So we will be picking up a prescription and see if that helps.
But the PSA coming down to 3.9 was a very big deal!