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FOLFOX + Avastin

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Would appreciate advice from folk who have been on this combo. I have done a course of FOLFOX previously (completed 11 of 12 cycles). Experienced many of the side effects associated with the oxaliplatin (o joy). What new can I expect with the additition of the Avastin? My oncologist has warned me of possible risks (gastrointestinal bleed, perforation, high blood pressure, need to monitor kidney function). But I'm wondering what other side effects people may have experienced. I will be trying for 12 cycles again but my oncologist says he'll be happy if I can complete 8. Thanks for any input

rosane
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2006

hi. my husband was in folfox + avastin. He had a pulmonary embolism, but was so stubborn that went with it for 2 days until I threatened to call 911. He is fine. Avastin is a wonder drug that increases the shrinkage by 40%, I think, My husband shortened his chemo by 2 months, I believe because of that. And now he will go to a clinical trial for after remission, and I hope he gets it. Just watch for shorteness of breath or pain while taking deep breaths and go straight to an emergency room if either of them happens.. Good luck, I am a firm believer in avastin.

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi,

My dad's blood pressure went up as the result of the avastin. The doc did prescribe a higher dosage of BP meds (my dad already had hypertension prior to the avastin)and it has kept the BP under control. In addition, my dad had some bloody noses but nothing too serious. He has had a runny nose also, but we are not sure if that is due to the avastin. I was also worried about perforations, but heard that there is a very low risk of this happening. Hope this helps.

-Lee-

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Thanks so much for these replies. Getting input from those who really have experience is simply priceless.

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Tara,
I just finished 4 sessions of folfox + avastin. I experienced headaches. My onc sent me for a brain MRI because avastin can cause changes in brain tissue. Luckily nothing showed up. I have a colostomy and have had problems with my whole system shutting down, severe cramps and then diarrhea(sp). Diet doesn't seem to make a difference. I was told that avastin doesn't usually cause noticible side effects, but in my case this turned out not to be true.
I had scans this week and am NED so I will be off chemo. I will see my onc the beginning of January to discuss what if anything needs to be done next.
Good Luck! I hope that you don't experience any noticible side effects.
Take care and Happy Holidays!
Jamie

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi tara -

We are all different, but I had no noticeable side effects from Avastin. According to my oncologist, this is the norm, although all those listed possible side effects do happen to some people. Hopefully you'll be one of those with no Avastin side effects.

Good luck,
Betsy

hicarm
Posts: 57
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi Tara,
My dad was on that for 8 treatments. He was having the numbness on hands and feet. He took some sublingual b-12 and that really helped. He dropped things a couple times. Some diarrhea but nothing compared to the cpt-11, that was the worst for him. Hope this helps.
Carm

goldfinch's picture
goldfinch
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

i don't think i experienced much with the avastin. there were a couple of times, when the oxali was causing elevated liver studies i just got the avastin. I think it may have caused some constipation followed by a little loose stool, but all very manageable compared to the oxaliplatin. I tolerated it real well.
Mary

goldfinch's picture
goldfinch
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

My bp did go up, but not enough to stop it.

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

No side effects at all...just losing my hair a little bit..My tumors is stable and my cea dropped with avastin...
Take care...

onein10000
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2004

If you are experiencing neuropathy (numbness/tingling/etc) as a result of the oxaliplatin, you might ask your doctor about gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) to help reduce the symptoms. Originally used to reduce seizures,it has also been found to be effective in treating both diabetic and chemo-related neuropathy.

The main problem I found with Avastinin that it GREATLY increases triglyceride levels. Mine went up to almost 1300 (normal is under 500). The good news is that the levels return to normal levels almost immediately after the Avastin is stopped. At the time, this was not something that was documented as a side effect, but I have spoken to Dr. Becera who is at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas (he was formerly chief of Oncology at Parkland Hospital) and he told me that this is now a well known side effect. If they haven't checked your triglyceride levels recently, you might ask them to do so, just to make sure there aren't any problems there too. You might also ask your oncologist about Erbitux, which works in a similar fashion, but does not appear to have a lot of the side effects of Avastin. I haven't tried it, but from what I've read, it might be a second option if the side effects become too much for you.

Ron

Susanbm
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2006

I was Stage III with Lymph nodes and took FOLFOX for 6 months and Avastin for 1 year. I developed a blood clot in my left arm(not sure if it was the Avastin or the port) but I was kept on coumadin until I stopped the Avastin. My main problem with Avastin was severe joint pain in my arms and legs and shoulder, which eventually "Froze" and had to be "unfrozen" under general anesthesia. After finishing the Avastin in April, 06, everything slowly got back to normal. Even with the pain, I would take it again for the benefit it is suppose to offer. Also, my blood pressure did increase but it was high to begin with. Good Luck

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

SO many thanks for all the replies. I'm starting on 11 Jan. I'll let you know how it goes! I did well on FOLFOX, so I'm optimistic.

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