Reoccurance and Irinotecan

bryancarson Member Posts: 47
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hey, I logged on a couple weeks ago with higher than normal CEA results and have just found out that I have a new, very small growth on my liver and will be undergoing chemo treatments again. 5FU, Leuokovorin, and a drug I'm not familiar with, Irinotecan. Has anyone undergone treatement with this combo before? I would love to hear what anyone has to say about it or if they have heard about it... Let me know.


  • kerry
    kerry Member Posts: 1,313
    Hey Bryan,

    So sorry about the new growth on the liver. Sorry that I can't help you with the new drug you will be taking, but just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you.

    I went today for my bi-monthly blood tests and then I will have my annual CT scan in October. I always get nervous at this time.

    Let us know how you are doing.

  • swelsh
    swelsh Member Posts: 10
    Irinotecan is also known as CPT-11 and Camptosar. The drug has been approved for several years so I'm sure that there are plenty of people on this board who have had the same combo as you. I have had 8 treatments with the 5FU (pump over 46 hours), leuc., Irinotecan, plus Avastin every two weeks. The Irinotecan can cause diarrhea and low white blood counts. It can also cause hair loss. I haven't had too much diarrhea but I think that's because I take Zofran for the nauseous feeling I get. I have had low white blood counts but get Neuprogen shots to combat that side effect. My hair has thinned considerably from the 5-FU but I have been on the 5-FU for 17 treatments. I have also had trouble maintaining my weight but considering I was thin before all the treatments it's not surprising. All in all the treatments have not been fun (as with most chemo) but are doable. It could be much worse. Hope this has been helpful. Let me know if I can give you any other info. Good luck with your treatments and let us know how you are doing.
  • StacyGleaso
    StacyGleaso Member Posts: 1,233 Member
    Hi Bryan,

    Sorry to hear about your recent developments. I had stage 4, with liver mets, nearly 3 yrs ago. All is fine today. I had CPT-11 and Camptosar, no side effects at all. This minor setback is just that...MINOR. Detection is key, and since it's been detected, it can be addressed and eliminated.

    Keep in touch,

  • I am sorry you've encountered this minor set-back, but that's all it is. Your post certainly drew my attention. While I ditto Stacey's reply...detection is the key, above normal CEA has been an ongoing issue with my husband Bert. Bert's CEA has been abnormal since January 2004 (5.5), peaked at 9.0, dropped to 6.0, and now at 8.5 (six weeks ago). So far, there has been nothing detected on any scan, imaging, or colonoscopy.

    Have you asked if the tumor can be removed surgically? I am told that if it's confined to only one lobe, liver resection is very doable and will put you right back in the "cure" mode.

    I'm glad your "set-back" was caught early and that it's being addressed right away. Can't comment on the chemo regime. Bert was on 5fu/Leuc/Oxal for stage III colon cancer.

  • gabor
    gabor Member Posts: 25
    Hi Bryan
    My husband just completed his 4th treatment (5fu/leuc/CPT11) for Stage III . He experienced some hair loss, mild nausea and diarrhea. The diarrhea, which always arrives 4 days after treatment is gone by the next day. The trick is to react to it as soon as symptoms appear. He'll be taking a break from the CPT11 for about 6 weeks for radiation treatments and continuous 5fu infusion. Then, he'll go back to the CPT11/5fu combination another 4 months.
    Good luck with your treatments and let us know how your doing.