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Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

unicorn1209
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

Hello -

My partner was just diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer with metatases to the liver and associate peritoneal carcinomatosis. She's almost 63 and this has been one hell of a blow to the two of us.
She saw the oncologist yesterday; surgery is not an option. They will be doing a biopsy, hopefully next week and she is scheduled to start Chemo next Friday. The oncologist says there is no cure for this type of cancer and the hope is to slow/stop the growth of the cancer and said this will cause her death in 6 months to 6 years.
We are desperately trying to hold on to hope for 6 years but I am terrified that she'll be gone from me in 6 months.
Has anyone survived this type of cancer, for more than 6 months? Does the chemo help? The doctor said the type of chemo has relativily few side effects. The drug starts with a "G". Can anyone offer any advice for her, for me????
Thanks~
Christina

EEWing
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2010

Dear Christina,
My sister was diagnosed two weeks ago with pancreatic cancer with metatases to the liver. She has had one Gemzar (chemo) treatment. They are saying that she is not responding to the Gemzar and that the cancer is spreading quickly. They are also saying that because she didn't respond well to Gemzar, she probably will not respond to the other types of chemo. I don't want to scare you because your partner might do better than my sister. If I was going to give you any advice at all, I would say to look into the side effects and get them to start the treatment asp. Time is of the essence with this type of cancer. Please feel free to ask me anything else.

EEWing

unicorn1209
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

EE -

Thank you for responding ~ yes, she is starting chemo this Friday with Gemzar ~ he said it will alleviate the pain she is having and help to keep the cancer from spreading more quickly... I'm sorry to hear your sister is not responding to treatment.... Do you know what the side effects are? He said relatively few... no hair loss, no nausea.... I can't stop crying every day and I know I need to ~ She still hasn't told her mother, son or brother OR any of her friends....

Bartrip_Devon
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2009

Unicorn 1209

I am so very sorry to hear of your partners illness. This is an awful disease because unfortunately there is no real cure, just to slow down and stabilise the tumor.

I have posted a few announcements on pancreatic cancer on this website with some great support from other people, for which I am eternally grateful.

I find this hard to write at the moment, but my darling husband passed away yesterday from this disease aged 47, I know that come the end, he didn't suffer, he was in no pain and passed away at home which is what he has always wanted. He lived life to the full, he wouldn't let this bloody thing beat him and survived fifteen and a half months after his first diagnosis, which was on my 39th birthday. I am so grateful for all the support I/we had from everyone, every bit of advice has been invaluable. Thank you to everybody.

My advice to you is to be strong and let your partner do what he/she wants and don't stand in their way.

My best wishes and good will to you all.

EEWing
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2010

Unicorn 1209

So sorry to hear about your husband. My heart goes out to you. If you have any advice in regard to my sister, please feel free. Thank you

EEWing

unicorn1209
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

I am soo sorry to hear of your husbands passing ~ my heart goes out and I'm sending you hugs... I am trying to be strong but am finding it difficult for a day to go by without crying... I know that part is hard on her.. she's in some pain and will only take the pain meds the doc gave her because they make her dizzy and nauseaous... so she takes prescription naproxin during the day and the oxycodone at bedtime.. the oncologist said the chemo will alleviate the pain by the second chemo treatment.. she is scheduled for one a week starting this Friday...

Thanks for responding in the middle of your grief...

mjd107
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2010

Dear Christina: I was given the same diagosis in Feb. 2009. My oncolgist started me on Gemzar with Tarceva. I had 10 months of treatments. I had a CAT scan in October. My Dr. told me that the results of that scan showed a 25 % reduction in the tumor. However, the next scan in December showed the opposite. My Dr. said that the Gemzar treatments had stopped working. He started me on oxiplatin and xeloda in January. Just last week he told me that the cancer marker number ( CA 19-9 ) that they use for pancreatic cancer had risen to 1000. I am going for another CAT scan this coming Mon. and I am worried that I don't have much time left. I have started to look at alternative treatments ( NON CHEMO ). The web is filled with web sites that have info about natural cures. If the Dr. says that there is nothing more that he or she can do, don't give up.
Check out the following web sites.
http://cancerfightingstrategies.com
http://www.cancer-prevention.net

Supplements that boost your immune system are a good idea to start. Check out AHCC.

I believe that cancer can be beat.

EEWing
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2010

Christina,
The gemzar made my sister very sick. I think because she was so far along and already being so weak, her body just couldn't handle the side-effects. She has lost 40 pounds since January. And is very tired. Last week she decided to discontinue the chemo. They were able to do a nerve block to help with the pain and she won't have to take as much pain medication for a while. She is going home today.They are saying that she has days-weeks to live. She has so much confusion, every day we have to remind her. It is heart breaking.
Good luck to your partner, I hope she does well with the chemo. I do believe that if the body can handle the chemo, nutrition helps a lot from what I have read.
Good luck and you two will be in my pravers.
EEWing

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

June 6th 2010

I realize this study is for early stage I and II pancreatic cancer patients previously untreated but some in CSN may fit this criteria. I am so sorry to hear of your sister EEWING and wish her the best along with Unicorn's partner and MJD. Were here to listen to you and provide support

Newlink is currently enrolling patients in pivotal Phase 3 Clinical Trial of HyperAcute®-Pancreas Immunotherapy for Resected Pancreatic Cancer. Company will enroll up to 722 previously untreated patients with Stage I or II surgically-resected adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who have minimum residual disease. Investigators will randomly assign patients to receive the current standard of care, either Gemcitabine alone or with 5-FU chemoradiation, with or without HyperAcute-Pancreas immunotherapy. Patients will be treated with adjuvant therapy for approximately six months and followed with imaging for five years.

The cellular components of HyperAcute immunotherapy are designed to essentially trick a patient's immune system into thinking a tumor is similar to an organ transplanted from a different species while also retraining the immune system to attack the patient's cancer cells. HyperAcute immunotherapy is tumor-specific

see link below
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/newlink-genetics-hyperacute-immunotherapy-phase-2-study-shows-promise-in-disease-free-and-overall-survival-for-resectable-pancreatic-cancer-95718579.html

2nd Study
Basel, June 3, 2010 - Novartis announced today that a Phase III study of Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets plus best supportive care met its primary endpoint, showing the drug significantly extended progression-free survival, or time without tumor growth, in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET). The study, RADIANT-3 (RAD001 In Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors), is part of the largest clinical trial program of its kind.

Everolimus is approved under the trade name Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) whose disease has progressed on or after treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy.

Pancreatic NET can grow aggressively and at time of diagnosis nearly 60% of all patients have advanced disease, meaning the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and has become more difficult to treat[1],[2]. The median survival rate for patients with advanced pancreatic NET is 17 months[2]. Currently, surgery and chemotherapy are the only approved treatment options for patients with advanced pancreatic NET[1].

http://www.novartis.com/newsroom/media-releases/en/2010/1421290.shtml

londonclinic
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

HI- I was wondering how your partner is doing- I am so new to all of this as mum was diognosed with advanced stage 4 cancer 2months ago and has already been in the ICU with liver failure and bleeding. Perhaps as a result of the Chemo she had just recieved-so they stopped early,she didn't complete her first course. They stopped the bleeding and her blood tests are far better as is she, I think they hope to treat her again in the next few weeks. I wanted to know if its possible to beat Cancer of this kind, so that the patient might even die of old age before the cancer? are there stories? I know at this stage both her tumor in the pancreas and liver are inoperable.
Would love to hear from you.
Thanks.

londonclinic
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

HI- I was wondering how your partner is doing- I am so new to all of this as mum was diognosed with advanced stage 4 cancer 2months ago and has already been in the ICU with liver failure and bleeding. Perhaps as a result of the Chemo she had just recieved-so they stopped early,she didn't complete her first course. They stopped the bleeding and her blood tests are far better as is she, I think they hope to treat her again in the next few weeks. I wanted to know if its possible to beat Cancer of this kind, so that the patient might even die of old age before the cancer? are there stories? I know at this stage both her tumor in the pancreas and liver are inoperable.
Would love to hear from you.
Thanks.

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