Great news on the MRI !
"...the mass shows significant decrease in the amount of enhancement when compared with the previous study as well as the baseline of 06/06..."
(this basically means that the cancerous portion of the tumor has decreased yet again! The decrease is 29% since Justin's last MRI in August!!!)
"...there is increase in the size of the cyst which in located centrally. It now measures 2.9 cm x 2.6 cm, versus 1.8 cm x 1.5 cm in the prior study..."
(so, the tumor overall is larger (3.5 cm x 3.3 cm,) but it's not because the cancer is growing, it's because the Antineoplastons are breaking the solid tumor down and turning it into liquid!!)
We are of course ecstatic by the recent news, but at the same time trying to be cautious as well. We need to monitor Justin carefully over the next few months as Dr. Barbara warns that there could be an increase in symptoms due to the growing cyst. We may be able to control these symptoms with an increase in steroids, but it's kind of a wait and see. Dr. Barbara said that Dr. Burzyski was "very encouraged" by the results especially considering the low dose he's been on. Justin's next MRI will be in 6 weeks instead of 8 this time.
For the first time, Dr. Barbara brought up in conversation the possibility of aspirating or decompressing the cyst. We were always under the impression that no one would want to touch this thing, but apparently draining the cyst is a possibility. If Justin's symptoms get worse and Decadron can't control them, we may need to meet with a Neurosurgeon about the details of this procedure.
Yesterday, I also spoke with Dr. Chi at Dana Farber regarding the MRI as well. She always reviews Justin's MRI's and has been open minded and supportive of our choice to try Antineoplastons. Anyway, she concurred with the Burzynski report and also brought up aspiration of the cyst. I never mentioned it, she brought it up. So, I asked "have you ever seen a Pontine Glioma react to a treatment this way, with a cyst this large," she said, "no, I have not." She has seen many other types of brain tumors do this, but not a DIPG. I also asked "have you ever had a patient with a Pontine Glioma in which a cyst has been drained?" Again, she said no. Very interesting. She also mentioned that Justin's MRI was not only reviewed by herself, but by the rest of the Neurologists as well. They obviously are seeing something new (to them anyway) in the way Justin's tumor is behaving. This has to be a good sign, right?
I wish I could end my update on a happier note, but sadly it looks like Matthew will not be going home from the hospital. His tumor has spread rapidly and further than the doctors anticipated. According to Rich (his Dad) Matthew has been in a deep sleep for several weeks now. Please pray for Matthew and for his family during this very painful situation. Pray for strength for Matthew and perseverance for his family that they will find a way to get him home somehow. Please continue your prayers for Leo, Chase, Kate and all the children. Kate's recent MRI did not show the results they were hoping for- her recent radiation to her spine did not work and the tumor continues to spread. Please visit their websites and show your support. It really does make a difference.
As always, you're continuing support is truly appreciated.