Welcome to curingken.com. This website has been established for the specific purpose of making all medical information regarding ongoing treatment of Ken Wills for colorectal cancer and metastatic disease (mCRC) available to all interested parties.
This website shows Ken's commitment to understanding the detailed characteristics of his cancer and to pursue all forms of therapy from classical chemotherapy, state of the art imaging and surgical resection, supportive care such as diet, exercise and supplements as well as novel and innovative forms of immunotherapy.
The potential benefit of understanding and profiling the cancer is indicated in studies on the influence of cancer characteristics (Phipps - 2015) and the benefit of selecting optimal treatments is illustrated by a study on Hepatic resection (Winter - 2015).
Together these reports are examples of numerous recent studies that seek to stratify survivability of mCRC based on detailed characteristics of the mutations and selected treatment path. Each can result in doubling of the widely reported 5-year survival rate.
Whilst this website is focused on Ken’s battle to win against the Colorectal Cancer, Ken also recognizes that for some people this is made more difficult and challenging as they seek to gain insurance cover or other financial reimbursement by establishing a causal link to things like asbestos.
Ken was diagnosed on 1st July 2016 with Stage IV colorectal cancer. This diagnosis was as a result of a routine colonoscopy with no prior symptoms whatsoever. His previous colonoscopy, less than two years prior, showed no symptoms.
On 16th July 2016 Ken underwent surgery including bowel resection, lymph node and surrounding tissue removal, gallbladderectomy and liver resection.
The surgery was successful and within three weeks Ken commenced a regime of chemotherapy comprising FOLFOX6 and Avastin (fortnightly for 12 cycles). Chemo was suspended after 4 cycles so that the ileostomy could be reversed, hernia removed and suspected liver lesions resected. The surgery was successful but there were severe post-surgery complications including sepsis. Ken recovered from the sepsis extremely well.
Further scans including CT, MRI and PET carried out in January 2017 did not show any major tumours anywhere. However, a further scan in February indicated a number of small lesions detectable within Ken's liver and peritoneum area. These were monitored, but significant increase in CEA and CA19-9 biomarkers led to the decision to recommence chemotherapy but now based on the FOLFIRI regimen including Avastin on 1st March. This is planned for 4 two-weekly sessions before repeating the scans to determine progress. Interim blood tests have shown that the chemotherapy seems to have brought the cancer back under control with both the CEA and CA19-9 levels significantly reducing. However, this course of chemotherapy has resulted in severe diarrhoea over many days of each cycle so the search is on to find ways to address this (see Links' page for details). Otherwise everything else is positive with nearly all blood tests returning a normal value, the exception being Haemoglobin which is still persistently low.
Other tests carried out in the first quarter 2017 have raised interesting results. Despite earlier tumour profiles indicating very low levels of TOPO1 expression , the preliminary tests on mice have shown that Irinotecan is performing as least as well as 5-FU. The second item of interest was the successful liquid biopsy carried out by Guardant Health. The results have given a first indication of the heterogeneity of the tumour. Primarily, the KRAS mutation occurs in at most 25% of the cancer cells and that the p53 mutation is the most common.
CT and PET scans performed during the period February 2017 through to April 2017 have indicated the spreading of the cancer in the peritioneal cavity. Chemotherapy 2 in March was aimed at bringing the disease under control whilst the possible use of cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC was being considered. With the decision to hold off on CRS+HIPEC at this time being made, the possible use of PIPAC, DCV and high dose vitamin C was considered. This was again declined by the surgeon due to current complications of tumour burden and fat stranding/adhesions in the cavity. Hence the decision was made to continue with systemic chemotherapy to try to de-baulk the tumours. In particular a specific tumour that is impinging on a number of nerves causing acute and severe pain is to be reduced and then surgery reconsidered.