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Has anyone used Xeloda to keep Esophageal Cancer in remission??

JaneE2366's picture
JaneE2366
Posts: 332
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello, This is my first time posting on any kind of discussion board so I apologize in advance if I am not submitting this correctly.
My husband was diagnosed 4 months ago with stage IV esophageal cancer. The tumor is very close to the opening into the stomach. (He had NO symptoms.) The cancer had spread to the lung, liver, and peritoneal cavity. Therefore he was not a candidate for surgery or radiation. If we chose to do nothing, the drs say he would only survive 2 - 3 months. We chose a very agressive chemotherapy treatment. He goes into the hospital for 120 hours of continuous chemo. Drugs are taxotere, cisplatin (which he receives on day 1) followed by the 120 hours of 5-FU. He had his first cycle in April and the second in May. They originally wanted him to do 6 cycles. After the 2nd cycle we had another PET Scan. The original tumor has shrunk and the others cannot be seen on the scan. Everything seems to be inactive. The report actually gave the drs goose bumps...it went so well. So the dr decided to do 2 more rounds, which we did in June and July, since technically he is already in remission. He keeps reminding us this is not a cure. Now he has suggesed we take Xeloda to help keep the cancer in remission. We just got out of the hospital on Wed. I am trying to research this on the internet but have been unable to find anything. My husband doesn't want to take the Xeloda if he is going to feel sick the entire time he is on it. (The dr said it may take a few months to get the right dose....he doesn't want him to feel very sick but you need to feel a "little" sick to know it is working.) I am just wondering if anyone has ever taken this drug and if they have had success with it. Thanks in advance for your time.

kitten0385's picture
kitten0385
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi,

I took Xeloda as part of my treatment regimen for 6 months, and I had minimal side effects from it. Much less than the other two chemos I was on. The Xeloda caused me to have some stomach cramping, and it can also cause hand/foot syndrome...where you may get sores and blisters, but I did not have a problem with this. I believe it can also cause diahreeah, but I also didn't have a huge issue with this, nothing that pepto didn't help right away. Xeloda is basically 5fu in pill form. I have heard of several people taking it to keep the cancer in remission. I wish you the best of luck!!!

Cathy

JaneE2366's picture
JaneE2366
Posts: 332
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for info, Cathy. I guess the key is to get the right dose so he doesn't feel too bad. He feels there is no point if it makes him feel as sick as he does when he is in the hospital having the full treatment.....Hopefully once we get the right dose, the side effects won't be too bad. I have a feeling he will try it....he can always stop it if it gets too bad.
I have read some of your other posts and I wish you the best. This site is so amazing. I certainly don't feel so alone anymore.
Jane

kitten0385's picture
kitten0385
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

Jane,

You're right about the dosage it can be adjusted so it works correctly for him. Many people I've come in contact with took it two weeks on and one week off to minimize side effects, I was on it constantly without a break for 6 months, I took 4 pills in the morning and 4 at night. Anything is worth a shot in this crazy battle we have against cancer!

Cathy

marypatwilson
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2009

Funny that you're asking about Xeloda. My husband was diagnosed in January. He had chemo/radiation for 5 1/2 weeks at Duke Hospital, followed by surgery on May 4th. Just last week, he had a negative CAT scan and we were thrilled...but then the oncologist put him on 4 months of chemo....2 weeks on and 1 week off....on Xeloda. We were told this was his standard treatment in the beginning, but we had hoped we'd have a little more time off before it started. However, the MD said the window of opportunity was now, so we started last week. So far, the only thing my husband has noticed is a bit more fatigue. There's plenty of info out there on the internet and I'm sure we can give you some links if you can't find them. The oncologist, however, gave us quite a bit. We're hoping my husband can stick with it, but we're told the dose could be chamged, or discontinued, if it gets too bad. So far, so good. There are no guarantees for sure, but it seems like a good plan overall to prevent any recurrences. Good luck...Keep us posted.. Pat

JaneE2366's picture
JaneE2366
Posts: 332
Joined: Jul 2009

Pat, Thanks for your response. Since posting I have been able to find info on Xeloda. In fact my husband and I went to a support group at the cancer center today and quite a few people are currently on it or have taken it in the past. I think it has convinced him to take it. We see the dr in 3 weeks and I assume if all his #'s are good, he will start right away. Thanks again and as I have said, this site is amazing. I wish I had found it 4 months ago when he was diagnosed. Jane

JaneE2366's picture
JaneE2366
Posts: 332
Joined: Jul 2009

Kay, Unfortunately my husband has stage iv EC. Not operable. The Xeloda will hopefully keep him in remission. The drugs he took as part of his treatment were Taxotere, Cisplatin, and 5-FU. Good luck to you. Jane

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