Erbitux and Xeloda

VonnieKai Member Posts: 30
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi All
I don't post very often, but I want to share my husband's experiences with Erbitux and Xeloda since there have been some recent discussions about these therapies. My husband has been on Erbitux for over a year (!) He started in late April 2004 and has been receiving weekly infusions since then. From April 2004 through October 2004, the Erbitux worked well at keeping his lung tumors from increasing in size. In February 2005, his PET scan showed increase in number and size of lung mets and one liver met showed, also a spot in his rectum. He has not had any of these spots biopsied. In spite of all this, he seems to do well (as can be expected for being 74, diabetic with HBP, chronic kidney failure, atrial fibrillation, post-stroke, and arthritis). He has no pain or shortness of breath. His primary complaints with the Erbitux are fatigue, the acne rash, and he has diarrhea about three days after his treatment. After the PET scan results, the Oncologist added Xeloda to the Erbitux. My husband had been on Xeloda for about 5-7 months in 2003. He stopped taking in because he developed the infamous hand-foot syndrome, but it was after several months of use. It was fairly effective at keeping his cancer from growing at first. With the Xeloda, the main side effect is diarrhea. He usually gets diarrhea from the Xeloda after about a week of treatment - he takes pills for 14 days and then is off for 7 days. My husband also takes Celebrex, but it's for his back. I firmly believe the Celebrex enhances the chemotherapies, but his Oncologist doesn't believe this a bit. On a related note, the Oncologist also can't figure out why my husband is still doing so well. The other thing that I believed helped my husband was removing all aspartame products from his diet. I did this right after his stroke and I believe it helped him recover more quickly from the stroke. Anyway, I hoped this helped anyone wondering about how effective Erbitux and Xeloda can be. Results vary with individuals, of course. I haven't heard of anyone who has been taking Erbitux as long as my husband has, though. Take care all.


  • hoosier_kitten
    hoosier_kitten Member Posts: 39
    Thank you so much for the info! The oncology nurse called me today and said there is a test they can do prior to taking erbutux to see if it will work. They take a sample of the orginal tumor and see if it effects it in any way. Wish they could do that with all chemotherapies!!

    Thanks again, and my prayers are with you and your husband.
  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358 Member
    there is definitely something about Celebrex and enhancement of tx, and possible other positive effects. Both my Onc and Radiologist seem to think so.
  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358 Member
    Previous Post from Emily:
    Hi all,
    I receive a wonderfully informative newsletter each week from a former researcher with Memorial Sloan-Kettering. These past few weeks he has been focusing on Colorectal drug treatments and their effectiveness. If I were more computer savvy I would just cut and paste it over here....but alas I am not. Nanuk tried to help but well....
    So I am just going to highligh a few quotes and anyone who is interested in the whole article(s) please feel free to email me on my ACS addy and give me your home email and I will send it along. I assume you can read it yourself at his website But if not let me know.
    "Erbitux effectiveness not proven to increase cancer patients survival time.
    ....acne-like rash in 90% of patients....serious to severe in 12%
    ...73% exhibited weakness and malaise
    72% diarrhea
    55% nausea
    41% vomitting
    45% abdominal pain
    30% constipation
    ....inflammator or infectious conditions especially of the eyes were seen.
    ...Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) has also been reported. This is a condition that occurs when the lungs become inelastic due to scarring of the tissue between the air sacs. (similar reaction in Iressa led to withdrawal in Japan)....."
    This is the drug deal that Martha Stewart was convicted of insider trading stuff. It was touted but from what I read it's mostly with everything...follow the money.
    This week he is discussing Avastin. ....another one to do your research on before accepting what they tell you.....and not from the company but read it from someone who has nothing to gain personally or financially from the "slanted" info.
    peace, emily who continues to look for answers