Susie has healed well over the last week. She’s gotten her appetite back and has enjoyed seeing dear friends. There was even a small gathering Saturday night that included a fire and lots of laughing. The timing was perfect, as we were heading to MD Anderson on Monday and Pearl was heading up to Arkansas on Sunday with a school trip. Needless to say, there was a lot of love and cheer going on.
Monday came, though it seemed to take forever. We left the house around 9:30 AM. While driving on Highway 71, we played phone tag with Dr. Yung, her Neuro-Oncologist. We learned when we were meeting with Dr. Sawaya’s team that Dr. Yung was unable to meet with us on Tuesday but was wanting to talk next steps over the phone. We quickly learned what all the hub-bub was about.
In short, Susie’s pathology came back and her tumor was classified as a Grade 4 Secondary Glioblastoma (sGB). So, it had mutated from being a Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma (AA). We were warned that this was a possibility, but were hoping for no change in type. Nevertheless, the tumor has a mutation of the IDH1 gene that responds well to chemotherapy. In addition, the cell division rate is significantly lower than what is normally seen with GBM tumors (i.e. 4.1% versus 20-50%). So, the short story is follow-on treatment is necessary to ensure any cancer cells that do not show-up on the MRIs are destroyed.
From my conversation with Dr. Yung, they intend to treat it as a new tumor. This is primarily due to the fact that it has been fourteen years between this tumor and her original tumor. So, the recommendation is six weeks of radiation therapy plus a year of Temozolomide. Like Susie’s past radiation treatment, it is every day, Monday through Friday for six weeks. Dr. Yung recommended we reach out to Dr. Morris Groves to be our local Neuro-Oncologist and for him to refer us to a Radiation Therapist. Dr. Groves used to be at MD Anderson and came highly recommended from all of the doctors and nurses that we talked with.
So, next steps are meeting with Dr. Groves and planning out radiation and chemotherapy.