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First Time Chemo Weekly Taxol/Carbo Regimens

RachAndMom
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi all,
My mother is scheduled to start chemo for the first time next week for Stage 4b UPSC but we are very worried because her chemo regimen still hasn’t been decided on!

We have received conflicting opinions from different Oncologists about whether she should be on the conventional standard treatment (Carboplatin 6 AUC (1 hr) and Paclitaxel (Taxol) ~180 mg/m2 (3 hr)-both every three weeks) or try a new WEEKLY paclitaxel regimen such as the one recently demonstrated in a Japanese study (Katsumata, N. et al. Lancet. 2009 Oct 17;374(9698):1331-8) to show improved survival for OVARIAN cancer (Carboplatin 6 AUC-every three weeks and Paclitaxel (Taxol) 80 mg/m2 EVERY WEEK).

It sounds like for the initial chemo, the majority of the women on this board received the standard Taxol/Carbo every 3 weeks regimen. What would be helpful is to hear from the women who did NOT receive this standard every 3 weeks regimen but instead received a WEEKLY paclitaxel regimen.

Could you please post the EXACT Taxol/Carbo regimen that you received (or are receiving) if it deviates from the standard Taxol/Carbo every 3 weeks? Also, could you tell me WHERE you are being treated?

I am trying to get a feel for how widely accepted this WEEKLY Taxol /Carbo Regimen is for Endometrial Cancer Patients receiving Chemo for the first time.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Rachel

A1pena's picture
A1pena
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Rachel,

I believe I posted to one of your earlier threads but just in case you havent had a chance to look at it, I wanted to let you know that my mom is receiving weekly carbo/taxol. She had her surgery at the Univerity of California-San Francisco and is seeing a medical oncologist there as well. I cant tell you the exact amounts- i just know we are there for about 3 hours from start to finish.

She is 6 treatments in (today being her 6th) and has had very minimal side effects. They have take glutamine to control neuropathy and is also taking vit D, fish oil and stool softners- all which really help her- at least it seems. The only real side effect I can think of is a little nausea- which is controlled by a pill, and hair thinning.

We are a little concerned since her CA 125 has actually gone up, but then again it was 9 in May, 50 before surgery in Feb and 201 after surgery... Not sure its a reliable marker for her. We are going to see how her number is next week, and adjust the cocktail if needed.

I wish I could tell you my mom is cancer free and in remission for life as a result of this schedule- only time will tell.

Best of luck in making this decision, I know it took us a long while after doing as much research we could. It seems to me that the studies dont ever show that the patient did worse as a result of the weekly schedule, and that the toxicity levels seem to be more tolerable which is why we decided to go that route. That- and the fact our chemo doctor truly believed it would give her the best shot.

Oh i should also mention, she was staged at 3C (Uterine Serous Carcinoma) with extensive lymph node involvement- a couple are still hot for cancer :(

Best of luck to you and your mom,

Amanda

RachAndMom
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Amanda,
Thanks so much for your reply. I am so happy to hear that your mother is tolerating her chemotherapy regimen so well-I know that must be a great relief for you. My mother was also told to take the L-glutamine to help prevent neuropathy.

If you have the info somewhere, I would really be interested to know the exact regimen your mother is on and whether it is exactly like the Japanese Ovarian study (Carboplatin 6 AUC-every three weeks and Taxol 80 mg/m2 EVERY week) or some other variation (Is she getting both carbo and taxol each time, or does she get Taxol alone some weeks? Are there any weeks that she gets NO treatment at all?). UCSF is a great hospital so whatever her regimen is, I'm sure your mother is receiving excellent care.

I hope that your mom's treatments continue to go smoothly and bring her into remission!
Rachel

A1pena's picture
A1pena
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Rachel,

Sorry for the delay in my response! Unfortunately I do not have the exact info/amounts she is getting. I do know that she gets BOTH carbo AND taxol EACH week and her infusion takes between 2-3 hours. I believe the Japanese study has the patients getting taxol weekly but carbo only once every three weeks. When I asked the doctor about this, he just said that he has seen this regimen work better on women he has treated before with UPSC. So far, she has not been given a break from treatment. He isnt too specific about her schedule since it all depends on how well she reacts and if her numbers come down. It seems to me she is getting a very individualized treatment based on her response. He said that if her numbers dont come down soon, we'll try something else.

I feel very confident in both her surgeon and her medical oncologist at UCSF- I truly believe she is getting some of the best care that is out there today. Hopefully your mother tolerates this scheudle as well as mine has- honestly you wouldnt even know she has cancer! She has gone to Lake Tahoe, goes to the casinos, shops regularly- all while on chemo. You and your mom will be in my thoughts and prayers- please keep us posted on what schedule you decide to go with and it works out!

Talk Soon,

Amanda

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