liver enzymes/ CEA rising/ dose reduction

wendy_21 Member Posts: 30
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Has anyone had this experience? My liver enzymes have been out of whck twice during chemo (once after the 3rd treatment and now after the 6th). Both times the docotr has held treatment for one week and then reduced the oxaliplatin.
Does anyone know if the dose reduction impacts the effectiveness of treatment or is this just the way doctors know when the dose is correct?
Also: CEA pre-surgery in September was 4.0, post-surgery it was 1.6. The oncologist has checked it every two weeks since with results of 2.1, 2.6, 3.1, 2.9, 3.5, 4.0 and last week it was 4.9
She kept saying not to worry unless it continued to rise and then not until it was double digits. She said treatment would not change.
Today she called and said that she has scheduled a CT scan for tomorrow and a PET scan for Saturday.
Everything I read seems to indicate that a rising CEA means that there are cancer cells somewhere and that it can predate clinical evidence of cancer by several months.
I was Stage IIIA with a sigmoid resection in October 05 with 2 lymph nodes positive. I'm currently on 5-FU, leukovoran, avastin and oxyaliplatin. Hae completed 6 of 12 cycles.
Any input? Ideas? Words of wisdom? Similiar stories with positive results?


  • Allen55555
    Allen55555 Member Posts: 15 Member
    I went through 12 rounds of FOLFOX 6. I was 3B with 1/23 positive nodes. Pre-surgery CEA was 2.3 Post surgert 1.3. During chemo CEA slowly increase till it reached 3.6 Held in this area for a few months which by this time was post chemo. I also had CEA tests every 2 weeks. Graph the results to get a better feel for the trend. The last several months the CEA has lowered and staying in the 1.8-2 range. About 15% of people on FOLFOX 6 see an increase in CEA during treatment. Not a DX but I would worry in the 4 range but at least know it was possible for it to be from non cancer sources. The higher the value is above 5 the less likely it to be due from a benign source. It did feel great to see my cea come down from the CEA to its current 1.8. I was demanding and received CTs and PET which thankfully showed nothing. My liver enzymes also went up and did not get completely back to normal until 1 yr post chemo. Current folfox dosage is based on toxicity limitations. Much research ongoing to see if dosage can be reduced. So dose reduction may not adversely effect you as they may be overdosing everyone else. That oxilaplatinin is powerful stuff. Good luck
  • goldfinch
    goldfinch Member Posts: 735
    no words of wisdom here, just a little commiserating. my liver enzymes have been up since mid december, so i've been on a break from oxali since then. we tried restarting the 5 FU and avastin 4 weeks ago. now my studies have gone up again, so they held my 5FU and avastin.
    my CEA had actually come down to 5.8 in january. i was quite excited about that (from a high of 13 this time around). just got it checked again and it's up to 13.9. I'm bummed. the oxali was working, but at the rate my liver studies are improving i may not be able to resume the lower dose in a long time. Don't know what's next. my doc is on vacation. will discuss with him next week.
    i guess we just have to hang in there and hope for the best.
    i'm hoping, for you, that your cat scan/pet scans show good results.