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Feedback on Therasphere

Lizystar's picture
Lizystar
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2011

Shortly after Christmas this year my dad let us know that after having two negative scans, his HCC had come back. Not only had it returned but was now considered stage 4 with a potential met to the lung. He was prescribed Nexavar and after two and half months, it was found ineffective and his cancer has spread into his portal vein (latest scans do not show any spots in the lungs). We decided to get a second opinion and today met with Banner Good Samaritan. This hospital specializes in Liver cancer and Micro-sphere treatment options. During our consultation the Dr. recommended that his first treatment be with Therasphere, because of the advance stage and location. He said he was concerned that because part of the tumor is in his portal vein the radiation treatments might go to his lungs, which would limit the number of treatments he would receive, so he wanted to be the most aggressive from the start. He also talked about alternating radiation spheres with chemo-spheres.

Are there any HCC survivors and or caretakers with experience with Therasphere and tumors that have spread to the portal vein? Any side effects to the lungs? Positive or Negative results?

Thank you in advance for your help and support!

Lizy

blueheaven56
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2011

I can tell you a little bit about the procedure for Theraspheres. My husband had a similar procedure called SIR spheres. Before they administer theraspheres they will do a "liver mapping" what this will show the doctors which way the arteries/veins run in the liver. Sometimes the arteries have branches that go into the lungs, intestines or stomach. If this is the case, they will block these small vessels off so that when the radiation is given, it will stay in the liver where it belongs. Then, they will have him come back and administer the theraspheres into the liver artery.

My husband's cancer hasn't spread to the portal vein (that I know of) but has multiple small tumors in his R lobe and 1 tumor in the left lobe. He had his second treatment mar 3 and will have an MRI sometime during the first week of April to see how well it worked.

Hope this helped. Theraspheres has a lot of information on their website too.

Lizystar's picture
Lizystar
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2011

I really appreciate you writing back to let me know about your husbands procedure. My dad just got scheduled for his mapping for this coming Thursday. If you don't mind me asking do you know what the results of his first procedure was? Did the tumors shrink? Why did you choose Sir spheres instead of Therasphere?

I really appreciate your input! There is just so much to research. Thank you!!!!

Lizy

blueheaven56
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2011

Gazz needs to have an MRI next week to see how well the treatment worked. Sir spheres was the treatment given at University of Maryland. They have many other ways to treat liver cancer but this treatment gives us the greatest chance at downsizing the number of tumors so that he could get listed for a transplant. The differences between the two treatments are one uses Yttrium that is bound to small resin beads, the other uses Yttrium bound to small glass beads. They both do the same thing.

At UMMS they did the right lobe of the liver first. This is because this side had the greatest number of tumors. One month later, they did the left lobe. They don't do both sides at the same time. Then they wait another month to do a MRI to see if it was effective. So it's a lot of waiting.

Hang in there Lizy!

Lizystar's picture
Lizystar
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2011

Thank you for the information and for your support! I really appreciate it. Would love to hear how Gazz's MRI turns out. I have read a lot of positive things about the treatments and I am extremely hopeful!

I will be praying for you and Gazz.

Lizy

Lizystar's picture
Lizystar
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2011

So my Dad has now undergone two treatments with Therasphere (one on the right lobe and one on the left lobe) The treatments are similar to inserting "stents" for the heart. They use an artery in the leg to inject radioactive beads that will "burn" out the cancerous cells. Like most surgeries there is no food or drink for 12 hrs. We have arrived both times at hospital around 7:00 am. The procedure lasts about 2 hrs and then my dad stays for the rest of the afternoon for observation and we bring him home around 3pm. My dad says that he only feels a little bit of soreness from the actual injection but no severe pain. He has left both times very alert and in pretty good spirits.We will know the results of the treatment int 5-6 weeks.

As for the after treatment side-effects, my dad is extremely tired, he has stayed in bed for several days after each round only waking up to eat and use the bathroom. He complains of nausea and stomach pain, aside from that , this seems mild in comparison to the other regimens. He is in a good mood, alert, liver function is in the normal range.

I am worried about him losing his muscle tone. He is so fatigued he doesn't want to move and has had a hard time getting up from a seated position. The doctors think this is because he wont eat large meals and stays in a sedentary position. To combat this I started juicing spinach, carrots,kale, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower and apples and having him drink the juice three times a day. I also have been feeding him miso soup and brown rice and veggies. He seems to be getting more energy. I am going to try and start walking him later this week if I can.

Any other Y-90 or Therasphera with similar reactions? Any other suggestions for increasing energy?

rishad
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

Hi Lizy,

We live in India and my dad has recently been diagnosed with Portal Vein Thrombosis. We have been recommended Therasphere treatment which is not available in India but is imported from the US and administered here. My dad is due to take on this treatment in 10 days time. We do not however have any idea as to what the after care for this treatment is supposed to be. I have read your comments about how your dad is faring and I see that you are providing him with many different juices and a healthy diet- could you please let me know where I can find the information as to what is good for him? If you could guide me to any websites, books or indeed forums, that would be great. The information doctors have in India can be limited when it comes to post procedural care and i would apreciate any help you can give us.

I do hope your dad gets better soon...

Best,
Rishad

Lizystar's picture
Lizystar
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2011

HI Rishad,

I am so sorry to hear about your father. The best information I have found on nutrition has been through the book "Anti-Cancer". It was written by a doctor that lived 13 years past his life expectancy with aggressive brain cancer. I have also researched foods and particular treatments and have been able to find a ton of information on the wholefoods website as well.

Hope this information helps! Please feel free to email me lhoeffer@gmail.com if you want to discuss further.

Best to you and your father!

Lizy

rajeshkalro
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Liz,

My name is Rajesh Kalro and I am from Mumbai, India. My dad has been diagnosed with a variant of the HCC with clear cells. The doctors had suggested to go for Therasphere but due to some government restriction have now suggested to go for SIR-SPHERE. Currently they conducted the mapping, but after that his bilurubin had once again increased the doctors have postponed the treatment for sometime and have kept him on antibiotics. Currently my dad is feeling very weak and has loss of appetite. He is also feeling very fatigue. Request you to please if you could inform me the followings:
1) What has been the effect of Therasphere on your dad??? Has the tumor reduced???
2) What are the side effects??? Fatigue is what I have found on the internet, but in the currently state my dad is already very weak hence wondering how he will react???
3) any other things that i should check with the doctors???
4) If possible, if you share the cost of the procedure as it a very expensive procedure in India and if its cheap in the US, I would want to get the procedure done in US itself.

Best to you & your father

Regards,

Rajesh Kalro

robin345
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks lizystar for the update on the side effects, 

My husband is scheduled on Valentine's Day, 2013 for the procedure.  How much shrinkage resulted from the procedure?   How is your dad now?  What treatments has he had since?  I grasping for as much information as possible.  Can you provide a little info about the size of the tumor, location, etc of your dad's tumor.  You may have already done this, I might have missed this.  My husband's tumor is several tumors that have clustered together totaling 19 cm, very large and aggresive.  It is involving hepatic and portal artery/vein.  Recently they have found small spot in abdomen. 

Thanks so much in advance for any info you can provide.

Robin

maxsumesh
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

Hello Rajesh/riyad,

Hope your wards are doing better now. Can you tell me more about the cost of the treatment in india.

also has the treatment shown significant improvement?

 

Regards,

sumesh

wayne62's picture
wayne62
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013

HI well they told me that I have a brick sized tumor on liver to large to operate the told me that they wanted to try Y90 theresphere's the operation went really smooth in about 2 hours it was over and now I may feel that I;m getting better it my all be in my head Smile

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