Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Multi-Tracer PET Assessment

Dad has elected to be part of a study Dr. John Hoffman is doing at the Huntsman Cancer Institute on the behavior of primary brain tumors.  The purpose of the study as stated in the consent and authorization forms is as follows:

"The Study will use a relatively new imaging scan, called positron emission tomography (PET), to study how your tumor behaves.  The PET scan uses imaging agents, called "tracers", to look at your tumor.  Each tracer has a small amount of radioactivity, which allows that scanner to see where the tracer goes.  This study will use four tracers to look at you tumor in a way that hasn't been done before.  The four tracers are:
1. FDG, which measures how fast your tumor is metabolizing sugar;
2. FLT, which assesses how fast tumor cells are dividing;
3. Water, which measures blood flow to the tumor; and
4. Acetate, which characterizes how fast the tumor cells are growing larger.

PET scanning with these tracers can provide a more complete picture of the status of tumors, and may potentially provide new insight into the best ways to treat and manage patients with brain tumors."

They are hoping that by doing this study they will be better able to pick the right kind of treatment for primary brain tumors.  As I stated in a previous post, this study will have no effect on Dad's treatment plan.  This is all for the benefit of future patients.

Tuesday Dad had his first round of PET scans.  He was there for a little over three hours.  He said it was really hard to have no one else is in the room with him because of the radioactivity.  He asked the nurses if someone could go in with him and hold his hand today, but they said no.  He has to lie still for 2 hours while he's given these "tracers" and scanned.  At the same time they take blood samples.  In the paper work it says they will take about 23 blood samples (a total of about 5 teaspoons).

After Tuesdays scans Amy and I brought him lunch at his work.  When he told us how hard it was for him I told him it was totally elective and he could drop out of the study and not have to go back for another round.  He responded, "If this helps someone else, so they don't have to go through what I am, then I'll do it."

And that is what we all hope, that better treatments come available to lengthen life and preserve quality of life for others.  Especially because this really isn't any fun for anyone.  To be candid, it is really difficult to watch my Dad struggle, to watch him decline by the day.  And as hard as it is to watch daily, I'm grateful I get to be here at my parents home to help in any way I can and to spend whatever time I can with my Dad.


  1. Hang in there and NEVER GIVE UP. We all love you and are praying for your recovey. Be Brave,as president Eyring's father. All my love, Dad

  2. Thanks Abbie! Thanks so much to you and Amy for being there to help your Mom and Dad. I know how much you love your dad, we all do. We continue to dedicate our prayers to your entire family and, of course, your Dad. Uncle Russ

    Why should I feel discouraged,
    Why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart feel lonely
    And long for Heav'n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion?
    A constant Friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches over me;
    His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

  3. I love you guys, what time is surgery scheduled for on Friday?

  4. My thoughts and prayers have been with your family since I heard the news. Thanks so much for keeping us updated on your dads health. I pray surgery goes smoothly tomorrow. All my love, Kezlynn

  5. I'm so glad you girls started this blog to keep us all updated. I know you girls are such a help and comfort to your mom and dad. Hang in there and know that we are all praying for your dad and your family!

    Dave, It was so great to see you last week and be able to tell you that I love you. I have so much respect for you and I'm grateful for the leader you are in our family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow as you head into surgery. As soon as it's allowed I'll bring you some grandma Smith no-bake cookies. Love you, Wendy