I made a call to my oncologist’s office to check in on the CT chest scan results and what to do about them. We agreed that beginning the end of this week, I will go back up to the higher dose of Sutent (50 mg/day, rather than 37.5). We will then need to ask for new scans before the end of July.
The reason for the abbreviated time before scans is that the Opdivo/Nivomulab compassionate access program closes at the end of July. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Nivomulab is one of the new immuno-oncology drugs that has been made somewhat available to Canadian patients. It has provided good results for the patients it works for; although it only has worked for 20% of patients (vs about 80% for Sutent). Although Health Canada has approved Nivomulab for mRCC patients, the province has not put in place any kind of financial coverage for it. The compassionate grounds program is essentially Bristol Myer-Squibbs providing the drug without charge, for patients who fit within their qualifications, without cost.
If Sutent is really beginning to fail and the tumours increase in size even on the renewed higher dose, it may be time to try Nivomulab. I have my concerns about Nivomulab, given it’s lower rates of response, but it might be the way to go. We’ll hopefully have more information by the end of July.