Gemzar Not Working

ladyjogger31 Member Posts: 289
edited March 2014 in Ovarian Cancer #1
Well, my ca 125 has jumped from 50 in March to 241 last week. I had four treatments of Gemzar and my counts kept going up. That was my 3rd line treatment so far. My Onc said that we will stop the Gemzar and do a PET scan. I never had one before only the ct scans. He said if there is a tumor that he is considering doing radiation. Any one ever have radiation for Ovarian cancer? He also suggested tamoxifen. Has any one been on tamoxifen? I'm getting really discouraged. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hugs, Prayers and Love, Terry


  • Cindy54
    Cindy54 Member Posts: 452
    Not the Best Advice
    Terry, I take Tamoxifen because I had breast cancer and ovarian. There are lots of comments about this drug on the breast board. I have few side effects...a dry mouth and a few hot flashes. But if it works, even if it has a slight effect, I will tough it out. I wish you the best. And someone will chime in with more on the rads...I haven't known anyone who had rads for ovarian...yet. Cindy
  • saundra
    saundra Member Posts: 1,370 Member
    Drats, the bad news. I am taking Femara which is an antiestrogen like tamoxifen. I have had lots of hot flashes and some bone density loss as a result but it has allowed me 9 months off chemo. I see the doctor this after noon and see the current stats. Last CA125 was 84 so it seems to be holding it down. Hugs, Prayers and Love, Saundra
  • LPack
    LPack Member Posts: 645
    sorry to hear

    Sorry to hear about your CA 125. I have Evista setting right here on my desk wondering if anyone has been on it before? It is suppose to be like tamoxifen but newer??

    I have no advice to give! My CA is going up s l o w l y ............... but still believing it is because I am not being treated and is still within normal, will have another test in July.

    It is hard not to get discouraged but you sure have a lot of us teal warriors praying for you.

  • lindaprocopio
    lindaprocopio Member Posts: 1,980
    Radiation as an OVCA treatment
    I was curious myself why ovarian cancer patients do not normally get radiation, whereas for UPSC (a recurrant aggressive uterine cancer similar to ovarian cancer) radiation is almost always a part of our initial treatment protocol. Here is what I found when I looked it up:

    Radiotherapy, otherwise known as radiation therapy, is not a common treatment for ovarian cancer in the United States. This is because many American women are diagnosed with late-stage cancers that have spread widely within the abdominal cavity. To be effective, radiotherapy must include all cancer cells within the radiation field, and abdominal organs like the liver, kidneys, and small bowel may not be able to withstand the doses of radiation required to destroy all tumorous tissue. Yet if the ovarian cancer is confined to one or both ovaries without spread to abdominal organs or pelvic lymph nodes, radiotherapy may be an option.

    Radiotherapy may be used to kill cancer cells from a cyst that ruptures during surgical removal of an ovary, or it may be used to treat certain patients who appear cancer-free or who have only microscopic evidence of disease at second-look surgery. It is historically the treatment of choice for germ cell tumors known as dysgerminomas. However, recently it has been found that chemotherapy can cure a percentage of such patients.

    Radiotherapy uses high-energy, ionizing radiation (e.g., gamma rays) to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy can be delivered in two ways: (1) by a radiotherapy device, which is used outside of the body in a manner similar to that of an x-ray machine, and (2) by injection of a short-lived radioactive chemical (e.g., radioactive phosphorus) into the peritoneal cavity.

    Because cancer cells usually multiply faster than most bodily tissues, they are especially affected by radiation, which prevents cell division and the formation of DNA (human genetic material). Yet the bodily tissues that also divide rapidly—such as the lining of the digestive tract, hair, and skin—are particularly vulnerable to radiotherapy. The specific side effects of abdominal (injected) radiotherapy include: abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, inflammation of the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal cavity), formation of abdominal adhesions (fibrous bands), obstruction of the small bowel, and lowered blood counts. If radiotherapy is applied externally by a radiotherapy device, side effects may include skin irritation, edema (swelling), and skin darkening at the treatment site.

    I hope that helps. I just TODAY finished my prescribed 28 rounds of external pelvic radiation, and will get a week off and then have 3 rounds of INTERNAL vaginal radiation 6/17, 6/24, and 7/01. I have no known tumors in my pelvic area, and this is solely to help prevent a recurrance, as my cancer spreads microscopically just like OVCA.
  • ladyjogger31
    ladyjogger31 Member Posts: 289
    Thanks for the information. It was very helpful.
    Hugs, Terry
  • Karen1418
    Karen1418 Member Posts: 48
    Hi Terry,

    I've been on Arimedex (not sure of the spelling) since I had breast surgery in July of 2007. My gyn/onc said I should be on it for five years to help prevent breast cancer recurrence. Arimedex, I believe, is often given to older women rather than tamoxifen. The only side effect I've had is hot flashes, and I don't get nearly as many of those as I did at first. God be with you as you go forward with treatment.

    Love, Karen
  • BonnieR
    BonnieR Member Posts: 1,526 Member
    Hi Terry, so sorry to read about your rising ca125> Let us know how the PET scan comes out and more about radiation. This is a very new approach so don't know much about it. I have tamoxifen 3rd on my list to try. Hugs ♥ Prayers Bonnie