Question about colon cancer and immunosuppressants


Hi, I have a question that is difficult to research and I'm hoping someone here might know the answer:

My uncle was recently diagnosed with stage 3B colon cancer. About 30 years ago he had a kidney transplant and has been taking 75 mg of azathioprine every day to keep his body from rejecting it.

Now he's going to be given chemo-lite, and he's lowered his dose of azathioprine to 50 mg per day.

My question is this: Is this reduction in his azathioprine sufficient for going on chemo-lite? Should he reduce even more or consider an alternative medication, such as everolimus?

Thanks for any information you can provide...


  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Get a Qualifited Medical Opinion

    Any change in the dosage of any medication should be made by a qualifited medical person.

    I hope your dad is not changing his dosage on his own.

    Between his transplant doc and his oncologist, they should be able to best determine what the dosage should be.

    Marie who loves kitties

  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    Hi Eric
    I suffer kidney problems as well as psoriatic arthritis. I go on boards that deal with these as well as other auto-immune diseases like chron's and ulcerative coliti. We often have discussions about immuno-suppressants and ca.A lot of the chron's folk are on humira and imuran and they have done a lot of research regarding cancer induced by immuno suppressants. It seems the most common ca is skin ca . Simple cause and effect,a lot of the immuno-suppressants make you sun sensitive. I have had micro-nodular basal cells removed that have been attributed to methotrexate. Most of the research has shown that there are very few cases of cancer caused by immuno suppressants and where they have occured is in the cases of transplant patient who are on fairly high doses for long periods. The other thing noted is that when they do occur they are usually quite abnormal forms of lymphoma and other uncommon cancers. I suspect your Uncle may have like a lot of us here developed a cruddy old colon polyp that has turned nasty. Stick with medical advice on what he needs to take . Best of luck Ron. Ps I have just been put back on methotrexate. If it doesn't work it is onto cyclosporine..
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900 Member
    thanks eric

    great question,

    in addition to me other friends suggestions, i want to draw your attention to some research i have been doing of late.

    an activated immune system preop for resection appears to be a positive prognostic indcator.

    as an example you could google pskcimetidine and colorectal cancer. these studies show a real benefit. this drug is interesting and its implications for serious.

    one massive irony is you already have a suppressed immune system from the drug likely, its not a co-incidence that you have colorectal, the drug is a class one caricongen.

    already having a failed immune system means chemo cannot do any more harm. or less than exisiting folks here. your strategy would likely be completely different from others here follwoing a non conventional route. if you follow a conventional route well everyone get the same treatment.

    if u were in your shoes i would still be looking at options to avoid if they exist and then trying to restore bone marrow immune function. now this could be a real challenge and it may not be possible with the transplanted kidney. this area of research would have as its goal addressing the root cause of your getting cancer, which is also a factor in keeping the cancer away.

    i suspet you could have benefits from having a truly aggressive and effecively targetted chemo regime, this can be guided by an rgcc molecular profile. but standard oncology does not use that test.

    the other benefit of an rgcc profile is it could guide you about what supplements and dietary strategies may allow some targetting of your circulating tumour stem cells. again these are just suggestions about areas you can research given your unique medical condition and clinical history.

    that said, we are all those with colorectal cancer in a similar situation, we all had carcinogenis occur, so for a key period our immune system was overwhelmed to allow the cancer to start.

    possibly given likelihood of on going immune dysfunction which is desirable in your case, i think non immune system based alternative strategies maybe of some benefit.

    you could google the ketogenic diet ( the coy diet ) as a start, this is a serious commitment but may be an option to consider.

    please discuss your research with your oncologist, please be aware from the start that conventional oncology has no faith in non conventional treatments and therapies and alas that is all that is left which offers hope if you have a terminal prognosis. something i and many friends have in common, amazingly enough many of us are still typing and quiet healthy despite a few cells who potentially could end our lives prematurely.

    peace of mind is the most essential part of my healing journey, it may help you if it does, that would be nice.



    ps nothing i have said is advice, its just some ideas for you to research, you will find my blog if you research these areas.

    GOODLUCK we can beat colorectal, but i am a naive dreamer, thats the only way i want to be.

  • EricCW
    EricCW Member Posts: 2
    Thank you all so much for the

    Thank you all so much for the information. It is much appreciated. I will pass it along to my family.


  • Chelsea71
    Chelsea71 Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    For the first few months my
    For the first few months my husband was on chemo (Folfiri), he was also on 150 mg Azathioprine. Did not cause any problems. Onc did not seem concerned. He was on it for ulcerative colitis. Colon was removed, therefore the med was d/c. It is a med he should not be adjusting on his own.

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172 Member

    What is chemo-lite?  I've never heard of this.  Smile

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member


    What is chemo-lite?  I've never heard of this.  Smile



    Non-fattening chemo?

    What will they think of next?


    Be well,