I'm embarrassed. Remember back a few months ago when I was ranting about that very expensive drug that treats gliomas? (As an aside, it's the same drug that Dr Burzynski uses to create his antineoplastons.) Well, apparently, I'm one of the lucky ones that can get it. I kind of assumed I couldn't because my doctor said it was a long shot. So, like a defeatist, I didn't bother to even check with my insurance. Yesterday, as I was reviewing my lists of recommended supplements and recommended medications, I decided to bite the bullet and not be afraid of hearing, "No".
After several phone calls, lots of hanging out on hold, it looks like Buphenyl (sodium phenylbutyrate) is mostly covered. If you recall, that is the prescription medication that is for people with urea cycle disorders (UCD); it is also used for off label use to fight various cancers.
After a little bit of web surfing I read that Aetna health insurance (not my health insurance - I'll be getting it though Blue Cross Blue Shield) goes as far as covering Buphenyl for UCD and also acute promyelocytic leukemia and malignant gliomas. Wow! The problem? As I try to find more proof that Buphenyl is effective to treat malignant gliomas, I can't seem to find it. There has been one complete response that I've found, but that's just one person. Shoot - that result could be as simple as tumor genetics.
I feel dumb because I wanted this drug, and now I wonder if it's actually worth the side effects and effort. I'm posting the study here for my other brain tumor fighters so that you guys have the info if you're interested...
There's more out on the web, but not much. Please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post links in the comments section with any information you find - or opinions. I'm not a fast responder to emails, but I read all of them and appreciate the help.