Thursday, December 16, 2010

Physical Signs of the Vaccine at Work

There is now some physical evidence that the vaccine seems to be doing its job.  The vaccine is comprised of two main components.  Irradiated tumour cells, which were harvested from the tumour removed during Rilley's craniotomy and immune activators.  The irradiated tumour cells are dead cells which cannot cause any recurrence of the cancer.

The vaccine is injected intradermally (between skin layers) in two sites at the back of Rilley's neck.  Each site receives a mere 0.5cc of vaccine and the injections are intended to introduce the cancer cells to his body in order to force his immune system to seek out and destroy them.

Our daughters noticed a red area on the back of his neck.  When we had a look we noticed that Rilley's skin had turned red at one of the sites of his initial vaccine injections and his skin appeared to be breaking open.
You will notice on the right side a red area on the skin.
If you click on the image to enlarge it, you will get a better view.
Obviously, we were concerned so we sent photographs off to Drs. Ohlfest and Pluhar back at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Ohlfest said that it was most likely a result of Rilley's body killing the skin cells that were infiltrated by the injected tumour cells...a very good sign that the vaccine seems to be working.  Basically, his body is learning how to kill cancer cells, or more accurately, any cells that are part of a meningioma.  Dr. Ohlfest actually summed it up quite well when he wrote to us saying that "this is very bad news for any tumour cells left behind after surgery".  Yes, Rilley's building his own army to seek and destory the enemy that was in his head!

So while this seemed at first to be a possible negative reaction to the vaccine or possibly a skin infection, it turned out to be a very good sign.  It's amazing what you learn, especially when you have two brilliant doctors who are so willing to share their knowledge and don't hesitate to answer your questions!  (No matter how many you may have!)

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