Frank Fila

Age 66, 14 months post-surgery and currently in progression-free survival.
Frank Fila

My journey with brain cancer began in November of 2013 with the onset of symptoms: loss of keyboarding skills; loss of handwriting ability; inability to tie shoes or button a shirt. An MRI confirmed  a golf ball size tumor on the right parietal lobe, which was surgicallly removed at the end of December.  The pathology report confirmed a stage IV glioma and post-surgical treatment included 30 radiation treatments and 42 days of  oral temazolamide folllowed by 2 months of maintenence temazolamide. Unfortunately, the June 2014 MRI showed a recurrence which confirmed that first line treatment failed. Fortunately, I immediately began Avastin treatments andd the next MRI which followed 4 biweekly Avastin infusions, showed a marked reduction of the recurrence. 

Meanwhile, last year I became aware of the ketogenic cancer diet and began a food plan that consists of  80% fats, 16% protein and 4% carbohydrates. Thus, out of my 2000 calories a day, 1600 calories come from fats , 320 from proteins and just 80 calories from carbs. This diet is not new. For 30 years, it's been a standard of care in children with severe epilepsy and research using the diet in brain cancer began in 1995 and is ongoing.  The science behind the diet is that brain cancer cells need glucose to fuel their growth and by depleting the body of carbohydrate intake, ketones replace glucose as the energy source  for healthy brain cells while brain cancer cells cannot use ketones as fuel and thus become distressed.

As of today - 14 months post-surgery -  I believe that the Avastin treatments combined with the ketogenic diet have kept disease progression at bay. At the age of 66 I've already beaten the 12 month survival odds and while neither Avastin nor the ketogenic diet are cures, I have hope and a firm belief that brain cancer clinical clinical research is moving rapidly and promising new biological treatments are on the horizon