what induction chemos did you use and which is better induction followed by chemo/radiation or just

My mom has stage 4a base of tongue cancer with metastis to bilateral neck nodes...the oncologist said that she dould go with chemo induction with cisplatin taxotore and fu 5 and then get 7 weeks of radiation with carboplastin chemo at beginning middle and end of rads or just go high dose cisplatin with rad...she said there is no indication that induction chemo changes survival rate...just wondering what everyone else had.


  • arndog64
    arndog64 Member Posts: 537
    My husband has 4A base of
    My husband has 4A base of tongue cancer as well with lymphnode invasion. They suggeted we not have surgery first because it would be pretty radical.. At the beginning we had a high dose of Ciplatin once every three weeks with rads every day twice a day for 6-7 weeks. After the first dose of Cisplatin he was hospitalized within a week with kidney problems (don't freak everyone is diffrerent). We went yesterday for his second round of chemo and his kidney levels were to low for csiplatin, so he is now on Carboplatin and Taxol for the next three weeks and hopefully he can get cisplatin for his 3rd round. He is in his 4th week of rads and 2nd round of chemo. I guess you can say we are kinda at the half way mark. We shall see. Good luck to your mom...
  • Fire34
    Fire34 Member Posts: 365
    My induction was with carboplatin, taxol, & erbitux. It was part of a clinical trial at U of Chicago. I also had alternating weeks(1 on, 1 off)of concurrent chemo/radiation with 5FU(120 hrs) hydroxyurea & erbitux again(weekly).
    After being asked to participate in the trial, I did not question the effacy of that treatment compared to the norm. I was also 4A hpv+
    Wishes & Prayers on your treatment
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Which is Better
    First, welcome to the forum....sorry you are here, but it's a great place to be under the circumstances.

    As for your question, I don't necessarily believe there is a right answer to your question. I believe there are several variables involved...facility locale, history, what's worked best for that facility for similar situations, etc....

    Myself, I was STG III, SCC, HPV+ right tonsil and mets to a lymphnode on the same side. The three you mentioned are the standard modes for treatment (or combinations of)..chemo alone, concurrent chemo/rads and surgery...

    In my case,my ENT (head of my team), felt what was working best at the time (January 2009) was to first remove the tonsils, then start with nine weeks (three week cycles) of Cisplatin, Taxotere and 5FU (via the port and a pump for 3-4 days)...

    This was followed with seven weeks concurrent chemo/rads Carboplatin weekly and radiation daily also amifostine injections just before radiation each day...

    The option for surgery was reserved as a last scenario depending on how the tumor (lymphnode) responded. It was close to the caratoid so they were hoping it would shrink or dissolve (which it did and was confirmed (CT) gone between the nine weeks and start of the seven weeks)....

    Finished up treatment June2009, been clean and clear since...

  • D Lewis
    D Lewis Member Posts: 1,581 Member
    No induction chemo here.
    Hi Brigboo,

    I had HPV+ base of tongue cancer with mets to lymph nodes on both sides of my neck. My largest lymph node was 3 cm and was removed during the diagnostic stage. My primary at base of tongue was just under 2 cm in diameter. The other lymph nodes that lit up were all about 1 cm in size, or thereabouts. My Stanford docs said that for my diagnosis, induction chemo would not provide a long term survival advantage. I got eight weeks of daily radiation, to the maximum dosage, on both sides of the neck, and concurrent Cisplatin chemotherapy in three rounds. I'm almost a year out now, and scans and scopes are all clean.

    Best of luck to you and your mom as you find your way through this process.

  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
    I Had that for Induction
    I did the cisplatin, taxotere and 5fu followed by seven weeks of rads with carboplatin once a week. My docs said choosing a treatment path is like driving your car to a distant destination - you have more than one road to choose from, and multiple roads can get you to the same place - you just need to pick which route you want to take. It wasn't fun, but I'm glad I did the induction chemo - it was the route I wanted. I started out with stage four base of tongue with two lymph nodes affected.
  • connieprice1
    connieprice1 Member Posts: 300 Member
    Induction Chemo
    brigboo, My wife had induction chemo ( cisplatin, taxotere, erbitux & 5FU via an infusion pump)followed by 7 weeks of radiation. She really only had 2 rounds of induction chemo due to colonitus after her 2nd round. She was hospitalized for 34 days due to complications which was rough. A week before she got out of the hospital she did a ct scan and the tumors were no longer detected. She did not do any more chemo during her 7 weeks of radiation due to previous complications. She has finished her treatments now and she does another ct scan on May 5th and we have our fingers crossed. My wife was also Stage IV base of tongue HPV+. Your mother will probably need a peg tube at some point as food becomes tasteless and should eat all she can to get ready for treatment. She will need your love and support and you will be her #1 caregiver. I love this website and the survivors here will always help you and keep encouraging your mother that she can and will get well. We will keep your mother in our prayers. God bless you both. Homer & Connie
  • buzz99
    buzz99 Member Posts: 404
    Buzz had induction chemo (Taxotere, Cisplatin, and 5FU)for his base of tongue Stage IV cancer. He received two out of three rounds. The third round was cancelled because the first two rounds put him in the hospital for a week each time. He then had 6 weeks of radiation with Erbutux. Happy to say the first PET showed that the tumor is gone! Karen
  • lizziek
    lizziek Member Posts: 27
    Induction or Not
    My medical oncologist at MGH used to work with the MD that did the research on induction at Dana Farber (he's now at Mount Sinai). I have stage IV hypolargngeal cancer with bilateral lymph nodes. She said if it was her she would throw everything at it and do the induction but she admitted she could not provide me with any data that said it did any better than no induction. I also asked my radiation oncologist who said you don't need induction. I elected not to do induction since I didn't want to add nine weeks of chemo to what was already described as a harsh treatment protocol.

    Like everything else in cancer care get more than one opinion, get it from top specialists and make your decision on what they say and what you feel is right for you.

    Lizzie K