Question about FolFox Treatment and Platelets

unclaw2002 Member Posts: 599
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1

My dad is considering what to do next to fight the EC - he is 78. He was Stage III, T3, N2, MO initially and after chemo (Caboplatin and Taxol) and radiation the tumor had shrunk and the lymph nodes showed NED in an April Pet scan. Then in July the pet scan showed that there was no activity in the lymph or esophagous but two new tumors showed up, one in each lobe. Because he had been so delibilitated by his stent experience and two months in the hospital he was so weak that the doctors didn't think he could tolerate more than one chemo agent. They decided to try 5FU via pump once every two weeks --- if he got stronger they would consider adding Oxiplatin otherwise known as FolFox.

Fast forward the new scan shows another tumor in the liver and the tumor is growing again in his esophagous. Dad didn't tolerate the 5FU very well and they lowered the dose and did it every week. After about 6 treatments his platelet count went to 95k but he still did the chemo even though he should have been at 100k, then the next week it 85k and he didn't do chemo then the next week he was at 71k, and he hasn't been able to have any chemo since Oct. 5th. He hasn't had a blood test this week so we don't know if the platelets are finally starting to come back. He is concerned about adding the oxiplatin and starting the FolFox because the oxiplatin also depresses the platelets and if that happens then he won't be able to continue chemo. Has anyone had experience with this situation and any other options/chemo agents you might have had that might not supress the platelets as much. At this point with the tumor back they won't consider beads, or ablation to the tumors in the liver.

Really not sure what to do - or what to tell him - he is really frustrated and not ready to give up. Thanks in advance for any advise or words of wisdom. The doctors have told him he doesn't have years he has months --- but again he isn't ready to pack his bags yet and he does look 1000% better and stronger than he did in August. He is one tough guy.

Best to all,