I find that I am not updating the blog as much as I should. Part of it was I just haven't had much news to share.
But to get everyone up to date, I have had 2 PCR's in the past 2 months, and both of them have come back 'weak positive'. The explanation of weak positive is that they could detect the signal of CML, but it was so low that they couldn't quantify it. So basically, I probably have somewhere between 5 and 10 bad cells out of a million. I am very close to PCRU, which is undetectable. Since the PCR test is sensitive to a million cells, and there is a trillion cells in the marrow, it simply means that once undetectable, statistically, there is still a chance that there are a million bad cells left. Considering that there were roughly 500 Billion bad cells when I started, that is a huge improvement.
We're also monitoring some chromosome abnormalities that showed up in October. They found 14% of my FISH test (200 cells) were Monosomy 7, partial deletion of the 7 chromosome pair. These mutation were found in my PH- (ie. non CML cells) and are not that uncommon. Since I have obviously responded to the Ponatinib drug (the new name for the Ariad drug) and it was in my non-CML cells, the doctors are simply monitoring it. The latest biopsy in early January showing the ratio dropping to 4%, so the condition is in all likelihood transient. There were no other issues observed with it, so both Dr. Mauro and Dr. Deininger tell me to not worry.