A few questions for my friend who is unfortunately having a recurrence.
1) Following surgery, is it better to go with VAL-083 since he is unmethylated or stick with CCNU since that is more the standard protocol for recurrent GBM? Any experiences with VAL-083 out there?
2) Is the tumor genetic sequencing provided by the University of Pittsburgh considered the best, or should he request a Caris report?
3) Have any of you or your loved ones tried Keytruda pre-operatively to activate the immune system? How did you feel about it? Any significant side effects?
For background purposes:
My friend was diagnosed in August 2018 - age 48. He had a total resection followed by SOC, Optune, supplements and 11 months of TMZ. A second tumor developed slowly in the occipital area and was removed in November 2019. Unfortunately, the tumor recurred at the second site shortly after the surgery. However, following a second course of radiation and TMZ, it remained stable for six months. Avastin was used to control swelling and reduce tumor growth. In addition, a PARP inhibitor, Olaparib(Lynparza), was added after SOC as indicated by the genetic analysis. The tumor was unmethylated and IDH mutated.
The second tumor location recently started showing activity again. So a third surgery is planned in the next couple of weeks. We are looking at which chemotherapy to pursue afterwards and whether to use Keytruda before or after, as well. We have a friend that had a very positive response following a recurrence on the VAL-083 MD Anderson trial. He was unmethylated, as well, and has had clear scans for six months since completing VAl-083.
My friend was advised to stop using Avastin, although we have seen some studies that continued to use it in combination with CCNU. He is now age 50 with no deficits. He continues to use Optune. Any thoughts, experiences or pertinent studies relating to the chemo options for recurrence, VAL-083 and Keytruda would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for the combined wisdom of Stephen and this community.