Mayo Clinic Visit Thursday, February 5, 2009, Cycle 12:

Good News!

M-Spike went down from 1.1 to 1.0 g/dL and IgG from 1350 to 1160 mg/dL. Together, these results seem to indicate an actual drop in tumor burden of perhaps 10% or so. Maybe not, because test results can vary, but most likely the cancer is down. We celebrated last night.

I do wonder WHY it's down, though. I'm still taking CC-4047 2 mg daily and dexamethasone (DEX) 8 mg once weekly. What else was different in this last month? Or was it the previous month that was different, when it seemed to go up? I dunno. Anyway we'll take it! Thanks to Celgene for CC-4047, Mayo Clinic for excellence in medicine, and specifically to Doctors L and KDS.

Other test results were mostly good too, and in fact mostly unchanged. Light chains are down a little, but the ratio is basically unchanged. White counts and hemoglobin are within the reference range for "normal" people. Red cell count is at the bottom edge of the range, where it always is. I do have three little things to whine about, but I'll put those last because they don't seem very important.

Related links:

      My Myeloma     A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.
My Treatment History Not technical.
My Test Charts Graphic displays of several key test results over time.
My Test Result Table Best with a wide browser window. Very "technical."

Side effects of the two key drugs, CC-4047 and dexamethasone, are discussed in a previous post.

Here are a few specific test results:

Test Nov 13    Dec 11    Jan 08    Feb 05    Remarks
M-spike g/dL 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.0 Best tumor measure
IgG mg/dL 1170 1260 1350 1160 Variation is normal
L FLC mg/dL 3.25 4.03 3.31 2.78 Free light chains
Calcium mg/dL 9.8 10.1 9.9 9.7 Below 10.2 is best
Creat mg/dL 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.0 Kidney, lower is better
HGB g/dL 14.6 14.6 15.3 14.9 Hemoglobin, normal
RBC M/uL 4.19 4.20 4.36 4.28 Red cell count, low
WBC K/uL 4.3 5.3 4.6 5.0 White cells, normal


I met again with the nurse-practitioner Dr KDS. Here is some of the discussion: Whining: M-Spike Versus IgG (or IgA):

M-Spike (Spike) and IgG both measure immunoglobulin G, which is one of the proteins that our bodies make to fight off infection. Spike measures the useless, monoclonal immunoglobulin made by the malignant plasma cells, whereas IgG measures BOTH the useless monoclonal immunoglobulin and the GOOD useful immunoglobulins that fight infection, made by the normal plasma cells. In United States labs, Spike is usually expressed in grams per deciliter (g/dL), whereas IgG is expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). We can put them in the same units, mg/dL, by multiplying Spike by 1000. Example from Thursday's results: Spike is 1.0 g/dL, which is the same as 1000 mg/dL. Subtracting that from the IgG of 1160 mg/dL, we see that the GOOD immunoglobulins (IgG - Spike) are 160 mg/dL. Note that IgG must always be greater than Spike, or something is wrong. It can be quite a lot greater if the body has recently fought an infection. The measurement of IgG is more accurate than Spike, but is harder to apply as a cancer marker because the amount of good IgG is unknown. The analysis is exactly the same for IgA myeloma.

For my own amusement I plotted IgG and Spike on the same scale (Spike converted to mg/dL) going back five and a half years. You can see that Spike is always lower than IgG, though the difference has shrunk a lot in the last year since the beginning of the CC-4047 trial. I'll have to ask Dr L why that is:

Click to enlarge, BACK to return here