Trying ANOTHER chemo

Fergus2007 Member Posts: 109
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
My father - stage 4.
These are the chemo's he's taken so far and the results:

1) - 3 rounds of first chemo drug - 3 months in hospital
2) - 6 rounds of Xeloda (at 50% strength) So he could recover from hospital - things on lung and liver grew a bit.
3) - doctor declaired it was time to try a 3rd one
because he didn't think Xeloda was doing the trick
... and he was blased with a full load of Irinotecan (Camptosar) yesterday.

My quetions:

1) Have any of you eer had to change Chemo treatments?
2) Who has taken Camptosar? ... and has experience with it?
3) Why would anybody ever have thought that Xeloda at only 50% would do ANYTHING?!?


  • sladich
    sladich Member Posts: 429 Member
    I didn't have to change chemo's but I've been on two different regimens. I was on the FOLFOX (oxilaplatin, 5FU, Leucorvin) for 6 months and then when I had a recurrence in the liver I was put on the Camptosar. Ended up in the hospital for a week with severe abdominal pains. The next treatment my onc reduced the dosage by 25% and I tolerated it very well. Best of luck to your Dad and here's hoping that the next treatments work.

  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
    I'm certainly no doctor so this is just my own opinion. I'm guessing that they put him on 6 rounds of Xeloda (at 50% strength) because he HAD been in the hospital for 3 months so his system was probably very run down and not able to tolerate too much of anything... at the same time, they would want something in him to keep a form of chemo in his system.

    I was on the FOLFOX (oxilaplatin, 5FU, Leucorvin) for 6 months and in the middle of the 6 month treatment, they wanted to do 6 weeks of daily radiation. They could not continue with the FOLFOX because the combination of the radiation and FOLFOX would have been way too much for my system, but at the same time, they wanted to have some form of chemo in my system while going through the radiation. So, the chemo slips my memory at the moment, but it was in oral (pill) form and was suppose to be much milder, but still effective and worked well with the radiation. After the radiation was over, I went back to the FOLFOX routine. Towards the end, the oxilaplatin was really having bad neuropathy effects with me, so for the last two treatments, she (my oncologist) stopped the oxilaplatin and just continued the other two.

    Soooo, long story again (gee, I do babble!)... they are really serious when they say that the treatment for this cancer really is customized. Of course, they have their standard treatments which is recommended for each type of cancer... but they take in all kinds of factors... the stage of cancer, has it spread, age, weight, pain level, tolerance, etc. and customize treatment accordingly. A good oncologist will explain what he/she is recommending and why... and if he/she thinks it's not working, then what the changes would be and why they are being made.

    The wonderful thing about all of this is that there is flexibility and the doctors really are doing their best to monitor their patients' tolerance, comfort level and still give them meds that are going to be effective.

  • apache4
    apache4 Member Posts: 272 Member
    I am on Irrinotean now. I do two Thursdays with it and Erbitux and then the third Thursday I just get the Erbitux and then I start the three week thing again. It is keeping me stable at this time. Before that I had 16 rounds of 5-FU with Oxiplatin and Avastin, then when that provided a clear PET scan was off for three months when my CEA went up to 34 and they put me on Folfiri which was stopped after 7 treaments as a CT scan showed tumor growth. (A rather low point for me.) I started my 5 roung of this new combo and feel pretty good...just very tired. Erbitux rash is under control. I also had Avastin with this, but a real ER situation with a nasal hemorrahge stopped that. I am being treated at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. dx 6/06, Stage 4. so many liver mets, inoperable.
    Good luck to you and keep asking questions.
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
    When I was first diagnosed, after the resection, i was started on FOLFOX as well, then after 3 treatments had to drop the Oxaliplatin due to muscle spasming in the hands (I write software for a living, so the use of my hands is pretty important). When my cancer recurred, after surgery again, this time it was FOLFIRI and Avastin. I have been on Avastin ever since, with a return to FOLFIRI for 10 treatments. I agree with Cheryl, the best oncologists take into account very personal factors and make changes to treatment accordingly. Obviously, it's a balancing act and i think we are all on a learning curve in this battle. Hopefully one day we will all see the end of this beast; or at least the end of our mystification on how to win the battle. Keep up the fight and one day we WILL win.
  • cjf2006
    cjf2006 Member Posts: 83
    Yes, I've had three different regimens. First folfox with Avastin, but the oxaliplatin caused too much beuropathy, so that was stoppped. Then a maintenance regimen of 5fu with Avastin. Didn't do anything for me. Finally I was on folfiri (Camptosar with 5fu/leucovarin) and Avastin. It has come to where it also is not doing much for me, if anything. Camptosar has affected my liver function and has made me weak/fatigued. I still have neuropathy.

    Now I am waiting to find out if I can take Erbitux. Chemo regimens change if it makes you too sick or if the cancer resists it and it becomes ineffective. It happens a lot.