Natalie Langworthy told doctors that his life was only a matter of weeks after that run had previously failed treatment of cancer cure. He was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2010.
After the diagnosis she had to undergo 4 cycles of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. But 2.5 months later experienced a relapse of cancer. This condition is known after he made a check of blood to find out how many white blood cells.
“Two days later, I met a consultant who claimed I could dikemoterapi again now and keep me to continue to feel comfortable until I die,” said Natalie (34 years), as quoted by The Sun on Thursday (03/17/2011).
However his fiancee Andy (48 years) are not desperate and started doing research online about the type of leukemia that experienced by Natalie. Andy spends long hours to send emails and look for help, but most of the replies he received bad news.
“At that time we began to face the terrible possibility that there is no relief for Natalie and eventually he will die,” said Andy.
But in the early morning he got an email from a friend in California who gave details of a trial in Germany that match the diagnosis Natalie. Immediately he sent an email to the consultant hematologist in Germany and the doctor revealed that Natalie could join in the study.
Because his white blood cell count is high, then Natalie had to fly in a supine position and received oxygen during the flight to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Upon arrival in Germany, Natalie participated in the experiment and given medication blinatumomab. This drug works by sticking in leukemia cells and then activate the immune system to destroy it.
Two days after starting treatment test results showed that no remaining leukemia in blood flow, but changed to the bone marrow. Then he did a bone marrow biopsy, were given the drug again and 5 days later he received the good news that the leukemia cells was decreased.
“It’s like the best Christmas gift that can be owned by me and my family,” said Natalie.
Natalie still have to take medication and a small pump in a shoulder bag. This medicine will continue to be consumed for 4 weeks. After that he will rest for 2 weeks before the next proceeding.
“Compared with chemotherapy who have terrible side effects, this treatment is like a blessing. I get re awesome power and the doctors managed to save the life of me,” he said.
Blinatumomab is an antibody that has 2 arms. One arm will hold the immune system and the other arm catch leukemia cells. Then these immune cells will attack and kill leukemia cells that exist.
“The test is still in its early stages and we do not know if this will be useful for various other types of leukemia or not. Therefore, clinical trials conducted in Germany is very important to know what can and can not be done by this drug,” said Ken, clinical from Beat Blood Cancer.
The experts do not know whether this drug will become routine treatment for leukemia or not. However, the results obtained by Natalie can provide the determination and spirit of cancer patients worldwide.