We didn't get official results today from MRI, but the radiologist who initially glanced over the scans said there were NO LARGE MASSES on her brain. Praise the Lord! We are grateful as always for all of your prayers and covet your continued prayers as we await the final results to be sure there aren't any small spots hiding anywhere in there. We hope to hear some good news early next week, but we are very pleased with this news and very hopeful that we will receive more great news soon.
Several people have asked about the FDA's approval of Keytruda (pembrolizumab - some of you may have hear us discussing "pembro" - this is the same drug. I'll try to stay with the name Keytruda but may forget and say pembro) which happened yesterday, well ahead of the Oct 28 deadline we were expecting. This is another reason to celebrate.
The biopsy from the largest of Mere's three lung spots was sent to the Mayo clinic to be tested for the BRAF gene; those results will affect treatment slightly. I'm still learning about all of this, but what I understand is that there is about a 40-50% chance it will test positive for BRAF, which means it is likely to shrink with treatment of BRAF inhibiting drugs. She will still very likely start the Yervoy treatment next week, possibly with a BRAF inhibitor depending on test results.
Here's the catch with keytruda: It has been approved only for patients who aren't responding to other drugs. She has to finish 12 weeks of treatment on Yervoy before she can begin the Keytruda. The Keytruda is a very promising drug which is actually the same one being studied in the clinical trial we were hoping Meredith would get into. A spot may still open for her to join the study, which would be ideal because in this study, patients are taking the keytruda along with the yervoy. So if she gets into the study, she won't have to go through 12 weeks of yervoy first - she would get the keytruda immediately and simultaneously with the yervoy. Many people believe the combination of the two is most effective.
Meredith said she feels like there is an army behind her, fighting for her. She said she is overwhelmed and humbled by your outpouring of support so once again THANK YOU! She will be posting here soon.