8.6M Dendritic Cells

20130517-162037.jpgToday was a very busy day in Duderstadt. Its the day when the past week’s immunotherapies all came together.

The day started with an IL-2 (Interleukin 2) injection. IL-2 is a cytokine signalling molecule, and its purpose is to further stimulate leucocytes. IL-2 is necessary for growth, proliferation and differentiation of T cells to become ‘effector’ cells. IL-2 is normally produced by T cells during an immune response, but my immune system needs the helping hand.

One hour of local hyperthermia was next on the menu, while getting a Zometa IV (Note: read previous post for description of Zometa and the logic behind using it.) Today they really cranked up the heat and for the first time this week I actually felt the internal warmth. Made me feel like I did not get value for money during the previous three hyperthermia treatments, but that is just the way they do it. Gradual escalation of temperature.

Another shot of Newcastle Disease Virus, and I was almost done.

After lunch I started feeling unusually tired and I almost fell asleep and missed the most important part of this week’s therapy. The dendritic cell vaccine.

Primed dendritic cells activate all the stimulated lymphocytes and gamma delta t-cells. Basically the dendritic cells on their own do very little, they however teach other effector cells to seek out and destroy any cell infected with the NDV virus.

So finally, as the cherry on top, I got an intramuscular injection containing 8.6 million dendritic cells. Now its time for me to rest and let the immune system take over. Fingers crossed.

As a side note, the only downer to the day was my still infected port. Last night I made the decision to lance the port scar using a syringe needle. Bucket load of blood and puss oozed out, and I tried to get out as much as I could. It was just like squeezing a golf ball sized pimple really. A Pretty graphic description, but not far from the truth. Its still not good, but it felt less swollen in the morning and looks a little better now. I have 2 more days of antibiotics left, and that will determine whether the port comes out on Monday. Still, I don’t give up easily and am already hatching a plan B. 🙂

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About Ren

I have been diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic colorectal cancer in October 2012, 3 days after my 44th birthday. There is no cure, but I am determined to go down the road less travelled to find one. I have setup this blog to document my journey and hopefully help others in the process. My view is that if there is a cure, it does not lie with traditional chemo, but with the immune system. Time will tell.
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2 Responses to 8.6M Dendritic Cells

  1. Rona0909 says:

    urggghh … I’m glad I wasn’t eating currywurst while reading the last bit. You must make a delightful dinner party guest!

    I hope the infection clears up – you are very brave to lance it yourself when you have a fear of needles!

  2. Rona0909 says:

    seeing how yucky Plan A was, I don’t know if I dare read about plan B! But I’m intrigued by your ingenuity and determination.

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