[cancer] Surgery and the TIL harvest

Yesterday’s surgery was minimally invasive. Using the VATS technique, the thoracic surgery team were able to resect the needed tissue with a relatively modest impact on my physiological well being. There was no need to open me up. This in turn means that the surgical insult to my body is much less than it was during the 2009 wedge resection of my left lung, where my third and fourth ribs had to be spread for full access. That healing took about a year.

Yesterday afternoon while I was in the ICU, the immunotherapy doctors came by and said that their preliminary assessment of the resected tissue indicates a sufficiently robust harvest of the targeted TIL cells that we can proceed with the next steps of the immunotherapy process. This is very good news indeed.

The doctors also mentioned the Whole Genome Sequencing data has been very helpful in refining cell selection, with improved chances of good treatment outcomes. As Dr. Klebanoff explained, they would not normally have sufficient lead time to do such a study before beginning the TIL cell therapy. They’re quite excited about having this data to guide their work.

That I can offer such data to this team is down to you guys, and the fundraiser from last year. You’re helping the science that might help me, and will certainly help future cohorts of cancer patients.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

5 thoughts on “[cancer] Surgery and the TIL harvest

  1. Terry says:

    Glad it went well, the results look good, and it didn’t impact you more than it did. I, for one, feel like if there is any good at all to be gained from this shitty situation, I’m happy to participate. *chapeau*, friend.

  2. This is wonderful news! It sounds like a partnership between you (and your support community) and the NIH folks.

    Hope your recovery is smooth. It’s about time things look up for you!

  3. Stevie says:

    This is great news!

  4. EvieG says:

    Hurrah!!! *cheers* Hope you are feeling better soon and the new therapy is effective!

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