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Anyone else being treated with Paclitaxel (Taxol) and Carboplatin plus radiation for Stage 3 EC prior to surgeery?

danno2961
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2010

My mother was recently diagnosed with EC (adenocarcinoma) in late October as she turned 69. The PET/CT showed no spread, yet the doctor that performed the EUS (endoscopic ultrasound) was unable to get the device in place as the tumor was blocking 90% of the esophagus (distal esophagus at the junction of the stomach). His report stated that based on his prior experience, he feel that this is a T3/T4. I did some research and took my mother to Dana Farber Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. We met with 2 great doctors, and were very impressed with their knowledge. Dr Wee specializes in minimally invasive surgery (MIE), and Dr Enzinger specializes in gastrointestinal cancer as a medical oncologist. We were told by them that the current treatment with highest rate of success is chemoradiotherapy according to the "CROSS Study" followed by surgery within 4 to 6 weeks. The 2 chemo drugs are Paclitaxel (Taxol) and Carboplatin.

My mother has endured 4 of the 5 chemo treatments so far, yet was unable to get her last chemo treatment this week as her platelets were too low, as well as WBC. She ended up in the hospital for 2 days as what first thought was a heart attack, turned out to be spasms in esophagus due to the radiation treatments. While in the hospital she was given a transfusion of platelets, hopefully she can get her last chemo treatment on Monday.

Has anyone else been treated with this combo before surgery? If so, please share your positive or negative experience with me. Thank you.

Also, my mother is not a candidate for MIE as she had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery 8 years ago. We were told this will e a long difficult surgery, yet confident in the doctors At Dana Farber/B&W. We will also be meeting with Dr Bueno when we go back in January, as he is the surgeon performing the highest number of esophagectomy there.

daffodilz
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

Danno,

My husband (age 50) was diagnosed last week T3/N1/M0. Met with medical oncologist yesterday. They will be using taxol and carboplatin AND also something called 5FU. Will probably start chemo the first week of January (need a port put in and need to attend "chemo school"). Radiation will probably start the following week. The plan is 6 weeks of chemo/radiation followed by 3-4 weeks of rest followed by surgery. We are starting chemo/radiation while still shopping for a surgeon. We're in Ohio - will probably go to Cleveland Clinic, University of Michigan and Mayo Clinic.

Of course I cannot answer any of your questions because we have no experience yet. But maybe it will help to know that our treatment plan is very similar to that of your mother.

I wish you all the best. I think we are both in for a long rough ride.

Pat

danno2961
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2010

Thank you for sharing with me Pat. I was reading other discussions, and feeling like my mother was the only one on this treatment regimen. I will keep you posted on the results of the PET/CT coming up in mid January. I am hopeful that this chemo regimen works, as we were told that recent studies have shown an increase of 10% more effective over the older chemo regimens. That being said, I understand that this chemoradiotherapy regimen is mainly for people with T2/T3 and no metastasis... and that will undergo esophagectomy within 4 to 6 weeks.

Wishing you and your husband all the best as well.

Danno

rmitchell
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 2010

My husband had the same medications of Chemo and 28 radiation treatments . He had surgery 2 weeks ago, and is slowly recovering. The chemo and radiation killed all the Cancer. He was stage II. The only problems he had with treatment was dehydration twice and had to be hospitalized to get fluids. It is a very hard surgery. He is 77 years old. Was in surgery for 11 hours. In the hospital 11 days. We are thanking God for a successful outcome. Recovery will be slow, but we are confident he will get through it. He had his surgery done at Vanderbilt University Hospital here in Nashville Tn. Dr. Eric Grogan was his surgeon. We were very pleased with his treatment and care. Hang in there and I will keep you in my prayers.
Reba

danno2961
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2010

Hello Reba,
I hope the worst is over for your husband, and wish him a cancer free life after recovery from this surgery. It sounds that your husband was not a candidate for minimally invasive surgery either unfortunately. Most important is that the chemoradiotherapy worked for him and killed the cancer. Findings from studies show when that occurs, the long term survival rate is dramatically increased and much less chance of it ever coming back. My thoughts are with you and your husband. Be well.

Dan

rmitchell
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 2010

Dan
Thanks for your comments. Don is doing a little better each day. He still isn't eating much, but gets to start soft diet on January 1st. He asked for sweet potato casserole so guess he will get it. The recovery is slow, but we are leaving it in our God's hands and know it will get better day by day.

cobolca
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2010

I just started these 2 today. I have had 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week, followed by 6 sessions of chemo 5 days a week at 24/7. This was followed by Ivor Lewis surgery. I was diagnosed originally stage 3 esophageal cancer. The surgery was Aug 11th and 4 months later a large growth was on my clavical. A Pet and Ct scan was taken and the cancer had metastasized. It is in 3 nodes in the clavical area and one spot in the stomach. Doctor said I was now stage 4. After 3 treatments with Taxol and Carboplatin, they will do another Ct to see if it is working.

I know this is different because I'm taking it after all the treatments. Today went well, but it is the first day. My pre-surgery combo was different and did shrink the tumor, but didn't get rid of it.

I hope your mother has success with her treatment.

Yehudit (Cobolca)

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