Trodelvy: A ''NED" Story With The New Wonder Drug
Have you heard of Trodelvy? It is an antibody-drug conjugate, also known as an ADC. With ADC's, they have three main roles. The first is Antibody, meaning it looks for a specific protein, such as Trop-2, which can be found in high levels of cancer cells. Secondly, it is an Anti-Cancer drug, meaning it kills cancer cells once they are found. And third, it is a Linker, connecting the anti-cancer drug to the antibody. This drug is most commonly used for mTNBC or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.1
Most recent treatment side effects
I personally have been on Trodelvy for a month and can attest to the side effects, which include nausea, low white blood cells (neutropenia), diarrhea, fatigue, low red blood cells (anemia), vomiting hair loss, constipation, decreased appetite, rash, abdominal pain, and respiratory infection.
So far I have lost my hair, was hospitalized with neutropenia, hardly have an appetite, have bouts of constipation and diarrhea, am completely exhausted, and have constant abdominal pain. Sounds fun, right? When I first heard about Trodelvy as my next line of treatment, it should be of no surprise that I wasn't exactly thrilled about the side effects. But then I also heard the "buzz" it was garnering in the mTNBC community, particularly with the acronym NED being thrown around. NED means "No Evidence of Disease", and while in the metastatic setting is typically not permanent, it doesn't happen very often, either. So when it does, there is reason to celebrate.
A no evidence of disease story
The more I learned about Trodelvy, the more I heard about it being hailed the "Wonder Drug"; bringing a lot of people with wide-spread disease to NED, and many others to stability with NEAD (No Evidence of Active Disease). I decided to ask a fellow Trodelvy patient, Sindee Kenific, about her experience with the new "Wonder Drug", and how it brought her to NED. She had been on it since November 2, 2020, so a little over three months at the time of our interview.
Here are some of the questions and her responses from my discussion with Sindee about her experiences as a metastatic patient on Trodelvy.
Where are your Mets located, and when were they diagnosed?
My Mets were found on a bone scan on February 6, 2019. The base of skull down to my hips and pelvis, right arm and spine included. One year later almost to the day I had ten liver Mets found on my pet scan.
What treatment have you been on in that time?
Since moving into stage IV I have been on Xeloda, Abraxane and Tecentriq, Xeloda, Abraxane, Gemcitabine, and Trodelvy since November 2, 2020.
How many cycles total did it take for you to reach NED?
I reached NED after four cycles or eight doses!
Managing side effects
Trodelvy might have some tough side effects, but it is also bringing a lot of hope to many of us living with metastatic breast cancer, particularly triple-negative. Wishing Sindee many congratulations for her success with Trodelvy, and thanks for giving us new to the drug some hope! For more information, please speak to your oncologist or visit the website.
If you are on Trodelvy, please share your experience with our ABC community!
Do you have an MBC mentor/mentee?