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Avastin(Bevacizumab) in combination with chemotherapy

Ebeth5932
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

My father has stage IV esophageal cancer. He is in his late 50s. He went through four rounds of 5-day continuous infusion chemotherapy, which was a combination of 5-FU, Cisplatin, and Docetaxel which significantly decreased the size of his cancer. So, his oncologist switched him to a less aggressive treatment of Avastin for several weeks. It was also to let his body recover from the chemotherapy. When his PET scan came back, it showed that his cancer was back to the level it had been at in the beginning, 6 months before. Now he is back on the 5-day continuous infusion chemotherapy. However, his oncologist wanted to also keep him on the Avastin, but my dad's insurance refused because it was ineffective. His oncologist said that he can't appeal their decision. I did some research, and found that the combination of chemotherapy and Avastin seems to increase the patient's chances of survival. I don't know if using Avastin alone, unsuccessfully, beforehand would change the result, but his oncologist seemed to think it was worth trying. After two rounds of infusion chemotherapy, my dad will have another PET Scan. If it is not effective this time, it will be very bad news.
Do you think it is worth trying Avastin along with his chemotherapy? Can you think of any way to get his insurance (Humana) to pay for it? (It is very expensive.) Maybe if there were research showing that it could be effective in combination with chemotherapy even if it wasn't previously effective alone? I've been searching, but I'm not very good at understanding the medical documents.
Also, my dad is looking for any additional things he can do to help himself stay healthy and improve his chances. Any suggestions?

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