Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Antibody is in limited supply

Good morning! Thanks for all of the email. I think we all shared in a good laugh regarding yesterday's entry. Today, however, I have to focus on an important topic. For months, everyone has been forced to listen to me harp on the antibody topic. I have made all kinds of insinuations that it was important to get onto a clinical trial that made your child eligible for antibody therapy. I warned of an impending antibody supply issue. I am sure, for some, you thought I was bordering on the edge of paranoia. I wasn't, the math simply did not work.

None the less, I saw the first public statements regarding the supply problem in an article from Nature Reviews (Drug Discovery) this weekend. It is a serious issue. Here is an excerpt:
Overall, "these findings present a clear paradigm shift and establish immunotherapy as a cornerstone of high-risk neuroblastoma treatment. This immunotherapy regimen will now be standard of care for children in first remission," says John J. Maris, Director of the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The biggest challenge for the paediatric oncology community is that the antibody is in limited supply and no commercial partner has been identified."
So, what does this mean for your child? What do you do? For starters, talk to your oncologist. Ensure that you are doing everything you can to maximize your opportunity to receive the antibody. If there was an absolute answer, I would tell you. If there was something you could do that would absolutely guaranty your child's eligibility, I would gladly share. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone really knows the answer. This is because all of the rules have not been set in stone. Ultimately I can tell you that they will beginning prioritizing by restricting the eligibility requirements for the antibody study. They have traditionally done this by limiting the number of trials that you would have to participate on to be eligible. In other words, if you were on trial A or B you would be eligible. However, if you were on trial C or not on trial you would not be eligible. This is why it is so important, to participate in a trial that is likely to make you eligible. Do things that help you get prioritized.

Go find out where you stand.

This is important purpose.

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