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  • ctDNA blood test shows if there is any circulating tumor cancer DNA in the blood!

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    Old 05-25-2021, 11:08 AM   #1
    Machaon
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    ctDNA blood test shows if there is any circulating tumor cancer DNA in the blood!

    My wife has colon and ovarian cancers. After two surgeries and four carboplatin/taxol/avastin chemos, on Weds May 19th, 2021 my wife had her second 5-6 hour carboplatin/taxol/avastin "adjuvant" chemo treatment. Sitting for hours gets very painful and uncomfortable because of her arthritis. It was chemo for Ovarian cancer. Two months from now the Ovarian cancer chemo is scheduled to stop and the Colon cancer chemo (Folfox) is scheduled to begin.

    Last November 2020, after we found out she had cancer we considered going without treatment because we felt that chemo was too much to bear, and that it was useless... all hope was gone! But, we were ignorant about cancer, and found out that chemo has improved over the years, especially when it comes to "adjuvant" chemo. We've learned that, instead of "dying from cancer", in many cases it is "living with cancer!".

    Adjuvant chemo takes place after the cancer is in remission or partial remission, where the cancer tumors are either totally surgically removed or reduced as much as possible. The chemo continues after the final debulking surgery, in the hopes for complete and continuing remission. In the past, you were sent home after surgery to wait and see if the cancer returned. Now, they continue with the chemo, just in case there is cancer still in the body. But how do you know if the continued adjuvant chemo is working, and how do you know if the cancer is totally gone and banished from your body!?

    There is good news! There is a new cancer-dna test, Signatera. It is a ctDNA test, aka: circulating tumor DNA test. They initially (one time) take 16 different DNA samples of your cancer cells. Then, periodically, they test your blood to determine if the presence of cancer cells is increasing, decreasing or gone. This microscopic, DNA blood testing allows the oncologist to determine, much sooner than ever, how well that the treatment/chemo is working and whether or not they have to take a different approach. It is an extremely complex, wonderful scientific breakthrough! We are anxious, nervous and stressed out, but hopeful!

    While she was enduring the chemo, we received the Signatera ctDNA colon cancer blood test results and it was negative!! That means that there was no detectable colon cancer, "molecular residual disease (MRD)", found in 16 cancer mutation varieties in her blood sample, at this time! I've read that 2/3rds of colon cancer DNA has similar mutations to ovarian cancer, so we are really excited about the negative ctDNA test results!

    We haven't heard from the oncologist. Will he stop the scheduled colon cancer chemos and just continue the Ovarian cancer chemos? I would guess that he would want to do another Signatera ctDNA blood test three weeks from now to examine whether the test is still negative? We anxiously await his decision and plan!

    With ctDNA testing, cancer recurrence can be discovered at a very early, more treatable stage! They can also determine definitively whether or not a cancer patient, who is in remission, needs continuing adjuvant chemo treatment. It is an exciting scientific breakthrough, which is very beneficial to cancer patients!
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    Old 07-05-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
    Machaon
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    Re: ctDNA blood test shows if there is any circulating tumor cancer DNA in the blood!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Machaon View Post
    ... While she was enduring the chemo, we received the Signatera ctDNA colon cancer blood test results and it was negative!! That means that there was no detectable colon cancer, "molecular residual disease (MRD)", found in 16 cancer mutation varieties in her blood sample, at this time! ...
    We've received the results from a second Signatera ctDNA test and it was negative. No sign of colon cancer in her blood!

    The third and hopefully last Signatera ctDNA test will be this August.

    In the meantime, we are requesting that our oncologist remove Avastin from my wife's chemotherapy protocol.
    __________________
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    ⇒ I use $6 fluticasone nasal spray as my asthma inhaler! BID! Saves me $$$
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    Old 08-25-2021, 12:06 PM   #3
    Machaon
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    Re: ctDNA blood test shows if there is any circulating tumor cancer DNA in the blood!

    3rd Signatera test came back POSITIVE, unfortunately! It means that there are circulating colon cancer tumor cells in her blood.

    The removal of her colon cancer tumor and ascending intestines was in March 2021. Two Signatera tests since the surgery showed no circulating colon cancer tumor cells in her blood. Now, five months after surgery, colon cancer shows up again!

    Just shows how nasty cancer can be. Just when you think it is gone, it rears it's ugly head! At least we caught the recurrence early!

    Oh well... bring on the Folfox! 🙁
    __________________
    ⇒ Age 77, Heart Failure, Chronically High Blood Pressure, AFib Diabetes2 diagnosed in 1987, now very healthy!
    ⇒ I use $6 fluticasone nasal spray as my asthma inhaler! BID! Saves me $$$
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    ⇒ Do it yourself SLIT greatly improved my asthma
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    Old 09-23-2021, 11:43 AM   #4
    Machaon
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    Re: ctDNA blood test shows if there is any circulating tumor cancer DNA in the blood!

    After eight chemos targeting Ovarian cancer and optimal surgery targeting Ovarian and Colon cancers, my wife had her first chemo session targeting colon cancer (and hopefully Ovarian cancer too!). She had Avastin and Folfox. She is currently attached to a chemo pump for 48 hours. We will be anxiously awaiting her next Signatera test to check the level of ctDNA in her blood, which should tell us how well the chemo is working.

    Thoughts going thru our minds:
    • Her genetic tests were negative for tested mutations.
      -
    • Even though Folfox is primarily treating Colon cancer, I have read that it is also effective, to a lesser degree, for Ovarian cancer. So, we hope that it is being effective against both primary cancers.
      -
    • If the Signatera ctDNA results are negative, then what? Will they continue the Signatera test again once a month, or how often? After how many negatives will they stop chemo treatments?
      -
    • If the Signatera results are positive, will they make changes to the chemo, or test again after subsequent chemos?
      -
    • She has no cancer tumors greater than one centimeter. After she is treated with 6 cycles (12 biweekly sessions) of Folfox this early, we hope that she will be in remission, and that remission will be verified by, hopefully, multiple "negative" Signatera tests.

    Anxiously awaiting her next Signatera ctDNA test for molecular residual disease (MRD).
    __________________
    ⇒ Age 77, Heart Failure, Chronically High Blood Pressure, AFib Diabetes2 diagnosed in 1987, now very healthy!
    ⇒ I use $6 fluticasone nasal spray as my asthma inhaler! BID! Saves me $$$
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    ⇒ Do it yourself SLIT greatly improved my asthma
    ⇒ I make my own dentures with moldable plastic pellets. Saves me $$$
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    ⇒ 900 weight lifts, 750 weighted knee bends, bike daily
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

     
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