Thursday, June 22, 2006

And the Winner is...

I am reporting on my 3-month blood results which I received yesterday from my oncologist. I feel like I am revealing the winner of American Idol, but really all I am doing is telling you who made it to the quarterfinals. This is a long and slow process and my results are only a glimpse into how well the medication is working.

Without further ado, the results were quite good. Several tests were repeated from when I was initially diagnosed. At diagnosis, my blood cells showed that 100% were called Philadelphia Chromosome Positive (PH+). My 3-month results shows that only 22% of my cells were Ph+. That is a big drop and anything under 35% is generally considered a cytogenetic response. The other test I had was called a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test. This one measures my RNA and something called the BCR-ABL transcripts (thanks to Anjana for this information). The PCR test is a very sensitive test and my understanding is that it measures the molecular response to the medication. My initial score on this one was 34.56%. Now it is at 10%. That is going in the right direction. A fantastic result would have been a 1-log reduction or 3.45%, but it is not far off. My doctors are much more concerned about the 6 month data. Right now, it is like peeking at the results before the study is complete.

I apologize for the technical jargon and I know that it can be hard to understand. I certainly do not understand much of this. That is why I rely on the CML support groups to help me interpret this information.

Needless to say, my 3-month results are very good and suggest that I am responding well to the Gleevec. At 6 months, these numbers should be even better. By then, I hope to make it to the semifinals.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jon
Fantastic results! Wow. :-) I know that this is a great relief for all of you.
Hopefully you, Steven and many others will be rejoicing at the FINALS one day!
Love and Light
(Mom of Steven)

Jon Gershon said...

Thanks Annie. I love the paint job on the RV.


Anonymous said...

We are so happy that things are moving in the right direction.
M and D

Anonymous said...

That is really wonderful news. We hope everything continues down this postive path.

D, L, and J

Anonymous said...

Great News... we always think positive!

Jon Gershon said...

Thanks to everyone who has shown me such wonderful support during this process.


Sue said...

Hi Jon,
That's great news!! Your dad clued me in on what this blog was about and did a great job explaining to me what the whole "molecular structure" is about and I'd have to say that he's a darn good teacher!!
I can remember watching American Idol at the beginning of the season during the auditions.
When I heard Taylor Hicks "SING" for the first time I thought "he's gonna win this challenge". But because I had a slight doubt, I told my husband and my girls that I believed he would make it to the "TOP THREE". Well, when I heard about your "LEUKEMIA" for that first time I thought the same thing "he's gonna win this challenge". The only difference.......... I have no doubt.

May God continue to bless you and you family.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jon,

What great news, those are very large jumps in the right direction from where you were before.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with peeking :)