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Need Advice on next step

Posts: 130
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Everyone,

I went with my Dad yesterday for his bi-weekly oncologist appointment. When we found out a few weeks ago that the cancer was back the oncologist sent a sample of his tumor out for testing with Erbitux. As it turns out my Dad's tumor does not express the EGFR protein which is supposedly what the Erbitux is designed to work on. The oncologist said that Erbitux has been known to work for people who do not express the protein. However, the FDA will not authorize payment for Erbitux for anyone NOT expressing the protein, at our treatment center. They will authorize payment if my father receives treatment at Sloan Kettering (why one place and not another? - different allowances for different types of centers apparently).

Anyway, my father has had one treatment with Folfox6 with Avastin. He is receiving one today as I type this. The Dr. was going to wait 2 months to do scans but said yesterday that he wants to do an MRI of the back and a CT scan of the abdomen after this treatment. He wants to see if the liver is responding. If it doesn't look like there is any change to the liver after 2 treatments he wants to stop treatment and try something else. I have 2 concerns - 1) Do 2 treatments determine if the therapy is going to work ? and 2) I asked if we would try Folfiri next and he said no. He would go to just Camptosar(Ironitecan) and Erbitux (which is not covered). I asked why not Folfiri when that's what he and the Sloan Dr. said last year would be the next option and all of my research shows that when folfox stops you go to Folfiri or vice-versa. He feels that if the folfox doesn't work neither will the folfiri because they both use 5FU. How does he know that it's not the oxaliplatin that would be the ineffective drug and not the 5FU that both treatments have in common ?

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