On Friday, February 16th, with Teresa sitting beside me, I signed a medical research consent form and HIPAA authorization to participate in a new clinical trial.

In spite of the fact that one tumor decreased in size from the first clinical trial (started back in August 2017), two other cancerous tumors continue to grow, and are now next to an organ.

The investigational study drug is called “NKTR-214” and is combined with another immunotherapy drug. The study is being conducted at Inova Schar Cancer Institute and sponsored by Bristol Meyers-Squibb (BMS) and Takeda Oncology.

The study drug is designed to trigger other cells in my immune system to start attacking cancer cells. In particular, “NKTR-214 expands and activates specific cancer-fighting T cells and natural killer (NK) cells directly in the tumor…” (see First Data for NKTR-214 in Combination with OPDIVO® (nivolumab) for Patients with Stage IV Melanoma).

The purpose of this investigational study is to primarily test the safety, tolerability, and effectiveness on cancer patients. Secondly, the study is being conducted to determine how it works with other FDA approved chemo/immunotherapy drugs, such as Opdivo and Yervoy.

By participating in this study, the data collected from my treatment will benefit patients with lung cancer, melanoma and kidney cancer. Conversely, the downside of this study is that it comes with severe side effects. 

On a personal note

Please continue to hold my wife up in prayer. Though she continues to be the rock, there are times it gets hard for her. And as for me, I have lost some of my mental, emotional, and spiritual footing on this new development. Please pray that God continues to give me strength, peace and faithfulness in this fight against cancer. We have been fighting cancer since December 2013, and we’re getting tired. Teresa and I both want this to end. 

Seeking support

We have a new chemo treatment & meal schedule online. For those who want to join us in this fight, please sign up on one or both lists.

For other ways to help, go to:

And you can find updated information on the following sites:



More information about NKTR-214

  1. Immunotherapy, NKTR-214, Shows Activity Against Solid Tumors in Clinical Trial (11/17/2106)
  2. Bristol-Myers To Pay Largest Fee In Biotech History For Nektar Cancer Drug (02/14/2018)




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Patricia Downs


Lifting you and Teresa up in my prayers.

God Bless,


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