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Transarterial Chemo Embolization (TACE)

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

Pam is scheduled for this procedure on the 21st. Anyone else been through this and could share their experience?

Here's an info page with an animation:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/liver_tumor_center/treatments/intraarterial_therapies/tace.html

Thank you.

Al

abbey712's picture
abbey712
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2010

My father is currently undergoing treatment for liver cancer and had this similar sort of treatment where the chemo is delivered directly into the liver via a catheter. He had this after systemic chemo failed and this chemo (hepatic), gave him very few side affects compared to the systemic. He was able to work full time and other than a bit of tiredness he felt a lot more normal. We even took vacations as a family over that time. He did not have the emobilization part done, although after a blood clot in the hepatic artery once he was done with chemo treatment it kind of did it itself anyway as the clot has blocked off the blood supply to the tumours anyway!
All the best for your treatment and let me know if you have any specific questions i could ask my Dad for you.

Abbey

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

...and thank you for the reply. In my laymans understanding of this procedure, the Drug-eluting Beads filled with Irinotecan create the embolization. The beads also serve as time release capsules. They are planning on doing one lobe next Monday. After a 3 week break, they will do the other lobe. One of the reported benefits of the catheter delivery method is fewer side effects. Pam was on Irinotecan for 8 months and handled it very well so our hope is she will handle this very well also. We were just curious if anyone went through this procedure and what their experience was.

All the best to your father Abbey.

Al

iluvmms's picture
iluvmms
Posts: 133
Joined: Aug 2009

Is she having embolization or the beads? I thought they were 2 different things. I had a procedure done called therashperes, but not embolization. Im just not sure if this is the same thing or not.

CHristy

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

The procedure states that the microspheres slow blood flow as well as release the chemo. Whether this creates a foreign body embolism or not I'm not sure. I just assumed since the procedure is called Transarterial Chemo Embolization (TACE). There could very well be a second procedure involved. Looks very similar to the therashperes treatment.

Al

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Have you ever heard about this procedure being done on lungs?
My lungs have never been candidates for surgery and the chemo I've gotten over the past few years has never shrunk them completely away- they're always there- what they call "innumerable subcentimeter nodules". Just wondering if this is something to bring up w/ the onc- something maybe he's not familiar with. I've had liver recurrence w/ last scan showing things "stable". Since then, I've had a good CEA response (still elevated, but came down 28 points in the last 4 weeks)- good, but I'm wondering if something like you're talking about for the liver could ever be done in the lungs to really zap the many little tumors in me there.

Lisa

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

Check out this page. It's a bit over my head but seems to be a similar procedure for lungs:

http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/Meetings/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=65&abstractID=34876

Hope it helps.

Al

patsy1954's picture
patsy1954
Posts: 85
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a TACE procedure done in January. They injected the chemo saturated beads into the liver via the femoral artery (groin area). Procedure was painless even though they said to expect some discomfort. I had a bit of an extended stay due to unrelated shoulder pain. They monitored my electrolytes (lab tests) and as expected my Potassium did go too low. I needed IV potassium replacement for a day to bring that back up. Had a slight temperature for a couple of days, also expected. It was all as expected.

Did the procedure work, well there is a difference of opinion between my oncologist and my surgeon. No CT scan was done prior to the procedure, so who knows who is right or wrong. The two liver tumors did not change in size from the last scan in October. The biggest issue was that I had been put on Xeloda (oral chemo) in November and it would appear that it did not work because my lymph nodes got much worse and this was noted on the scans taken a month after the TACE. So off the oral meds and on to FOLFIRI. So surgeon says it worked, oncologist says it did not. Bottom line is if my lymph nodes were stable I could have another TACE, but until that happens no repeat TACE. I would do it again in a minute. By the way the FOFIRI didn't work either, so now I'm on Erbitux and Irionotican.

Feel free to ask any other questions.

Pat

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

Pam was dx in Dec 08 (stage IV w/mets to Liver) and originally put on Folfox 6 and Avastin. 6 months later some complications arose and she was removed from that regiment and put on Irinotecan and Xeloda. She had been on that regiment for 8 months. A ct scan in May showed significant tumor growth so we were referred to the Lombardi Cancer Center for a clinical trial. The principle investigator of the trial informed us that the success of the trial was at the bare minimum and recommended the TACE treatment instead. Thank you for your input and the fact that you would do the procedure again.

Best wishes Pat.

Al

patsy1954's picture
patsy1954
Posts: 85
Joined: Sep 2009

I was Dx April of 2009 with Stage 4 colon cancer. No symptoms, just fatigue. I have been blessed with a whole year of life and continue to have only positive thoughts. I am a nurse so if you ever have any questions feel free to ask, and of course this site is the best!! The Erbitux and CPT11 is working so far, and when it stops then off to Dana farber in Boston for experimental treatments. Every day is a blessing!!

Pat

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

Well, we've had a long day leaving our house at 6:20 this morning, arriving at Georgetown Univ. Hospital around 10:00. They got Pam all checked in and in her room by 11:30. We finally go to meet Dr. Sharma (up until now we had only spoke on the phone several times). He was very nice and explained the TACE procedure in detail. A nurse from his staff also met with us and went over post op in detail.

At 1:30 they took her back and told me to be back by 4:00. Where was I going? Tried to eat but only manage a little. Tried to watch a little of the World Cup on the big screen at the food court but realized I was looking right thru the screen. I was back in the waiting room by 3:00. At 3:45 Dr Sharma came out and told me the procedure went well and that Pam was doing fine. Whew. He brought me back to his office and again, explained in great detail what he saw in her liver, what he did, and what was next.

At 4:15, Pam and I were in her room. She was alert and was having very little pain or nausea. She had a morphine pump that she could have hit every 8 minutes but over the next 5 hours she hit it a total of 4 times. She had to lay flat on her back for 3 hours and keep her right leg perfectly still (that's the artery they went thru). At 5:00 the nurse asked her if she was hungry and she said she was starving. LOL. They gave her a regular supper of beef stroganoff and broccoli and she all but cleaned her plate! It was funny though, as I was feeding her she kept falling asleep. I had to keep waking her cause I was afraid she wpould choke on the food. When I'd ask her if she'd rather sleep she'd say "no, I'm hungry". This went on for about an hour. :) I was so glad she had an appetite.

The staff here have been great. They even offered me a meal and a cot. I turned down the meal and Pam would not let me take the cot. I already had a room reserved right across the street at the Georgetown Hotel and Pam insisted I was to go and get a good night's sleep. I am too tired to argue. I don't know, I don't sleep in hotels too well anyway. I really am beat though so if this post is choppy and incoherant, I apologize.

It's now 10:00 pm and I think I'll crash for a few hours. Thanks for listening.

Al

Brenda3.16
Posts: 211
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for sharing the good news. I am glad that it went weell and Pam seems to be doing great.

Brenda

AnneCan
Posts: 3693
Joined: Oct 2009

Al,

Thanks for sharing this really good news. I am really glad everything went so well + it sure sounds like Pam is a trouper! I hope you both sleep well tonight.

Erinb
Posts: 295
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Al,
I am glad her procedure went well. She must be a trooper! I can't believe she had an appetite right out of surgery. Good for her. Try to get some rest and take good care of yourself and your wife.
Erin

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I am glad she is doing so well and her appetite is good! I hope you got some sleep, and we look forward to hearing more about how it's going with her and you!
mary

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

Al, what wonderful news! I too am being treated at GUH!! I love the staff there! Who is your oncologist over there? I see Dr. Hwang. Maybe we will meet one day soon! Let Pam know that I'm praying for her.

-Sheri

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2053
Joined: Oct 2009

Just saw your post and am happy all turned out well. Sounds like an interesting procedure so I look forward to seeing other posts from you. This is a procedure I had not heard of before, the chemo beads. Thanks for sharing.

Now go get some much deserved rest. I know, easier said than done. Tell Pam we are all thinking of her and wishing the best.

Tina.

tabur's picture
tabur
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

I guess the reason she ate such a good supper was because she hadn't eaten anything for almost 24 hours. I got a few hours sleep and was back in her room around 7:00am. It seems that around 2:00am, all of her supper came back up! She said it was her worst bout of nausea from a chemo treatment. For breakfast she only had a few pieces of toast. By lunch, she was hungry again and ate a sandwich. After lunch, she was pretty well back to normal except for some occasional pain. She was discharged around 3:00pm. I took her to the hotel room and she completely crashed. Around 8:00pm she awoke and was a little hungry. I ran to a little take-out place and got her some fried rice (one of her favorites). She ate what she could and went out for the night.

We got up this morning, ate a light breakfast and started to head home. She still has some moderate pain but Vicodin is taking care of it. She has to take it easy for a few days so our daughter is coming up to help out.

Brenda, Anne, Erin, Mary and Tina...thank you so much for kind words and thoughts. I will pass along you well wishes. Pam refuses to touch a computer but I show her these threads.

Sheri, her onc is Dr. Michael Pishvaian. We will be returning the week of July 12th for a second treatment. Let us know if you will be there :)

Three weeks from now, Pam will have a series of blood work done. I will post the results, conclusive or otherwise.

Bless you all for thinking of her.

Al

AnneCan
Posts: 3693
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry Pam was so nauseous , but it sounds like she is on the rebound. I hope she enjoys being back home + continues to feel better. Thanks for updating us.

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