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PET scan results

Pat from MN
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2009

I was diagnosed with UPSC in Oct 08, had hyst, did 3 chemo (carbo/taxol), 25 Ext rad, 4 int rad. At that time, I was having pain in my stomach so went to the dr. Had a PET scan that showed Cancer had spread - bigger tumor on my liver and smaller ones around it. My dr recommended doing 2 more chemos with the same drugs and then have another PET scan. I had it last week and I found out today that not only did it not shrink but it GREW. AND there are more small nodules in a different area. It seems like every step I take forward, I take 2 steps back. Now, new chemo drugs (don't know what yet) and more questions & concerns than ever. I am so frustrated and scared.

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I can imagine your frustration and being scared. Very justified feelings. Sending you a Huge Cyber Hug. It does get frustrating to feel you take one step forward and 2 steps back. Maybe the taxol/carbo were not the right drugs for the liver. When they get the right combination of drugs, I pray the tumors will shrink. You will remain in my prayers. Hang in there and take it a day at a time. In peace and caring.

kkstef's picture
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Pat, I can not imagine the angst you must be experiencing at this time. Keep us posted about what your treatment plan will be. Hope they can get it started FAST! Please know that I am holding you in my prayers.


Posts: 54
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm so sorry. I want to send you so much strength to help you move forward. Saying a prayer that the different chemo drugs will do the job and you will only have good news.


Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

I thought about you all last night and what you are going through. I did an imagery tape fr.om health journeys and the last part reminded me that I was in God's hands. I prayed for you this morning. Sometimes they biopsy the cancer and test it to see which chemo drugs work best. I wonder if that would be an option and is probably worth mentioning to your oncologist. Prayers are coming every day

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I can only imagine how you feel, although I know that each of us with cancer can imagine it all too easily as we all fear the same thing happening to us. I'm so sorry it is happening to you! (((Big HUG))). It really sounds like your cancer is VERY resistant to the carbo/taxol. Did your CA-125 continue to drop even as the cancer was growing?

Please look into them doing the assays with the frozen tissue samples they have from your hysterectomy. If your cancer cells have that EGRF protein on them, there are chemos that they can give you that specifically attact that type of cancer cell. I tried to get that type of testing done early in my chemo rounds, but my oncologist said they don't do it routinely. But I promised myself that if I had a recurrance, I would push and push until I had the tissue tested. I saved this article, which I will paste in here for you:

There is a tactic of using biopsied cells to predict which cancer treatments will work best for the patient, by taking pieces of live "fresh" tumor tissue, applying different chemotherapy treatments to it, and examining the results to see which drug or combination of drugs does the best job killing the tumor cells. A cell culture assay test with "functional profiling," using a cell-death endpoint, can help see what treatments will not have the best opportunity of being successful (resistant) and identify drugs that have the best opportunity of being successful (sensitive).

"Functional profiling" measures the response of the tumor cells to drug exposure. Following this exposure, they measure both cell metabolism and cell morphology. The integrated effect of the drugs on the whole cell, resulting in a cellular response to the drug, measuring the interaction of the entire genome. No matter which genes are being affected, "functional profiling" is measuring them through the surrogate of measuring if the cell is alive or dead.

For example, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a protein on the surface of a cell. EGFR-inhibiting drugs certainly do target specific genes, but even knowing what genes the drugs target doesn't tell you the whole story. Both Iressa and Tarceva target EGFR protein-tyrosine kinases. But all the EGFR mutation or amplificaton studies can tell us is whether or not the cells are potentially susceptible to this mechanism of attack. They don't tell you if Iressa is better or worse than Tarceva or other drugs which may target this. There are differences. The drugs have to get inside the cells in order to target anything. So, in different tumors, either Iressa or Tarceva might get in better or worse than the other. And the drugs may also be inactivated at different rates, also contributing to sensitivity versus resistance.

As an example of this testing, researchers have tested how well a pancreatic cancer patient can be treated successfully with a combination of drugs commonly used to fight lung, pancreatic, breast, and colorectal cancers. The pre-test can report prospectively to a physician specifically which chemotherapy agent would benefit a cancer patient. Drug sensitivity profiles differ significantly among cancer patients even when diagnosed with the same cancer.

The "functional profiling" technique makes the statistically significant association between prospectively reported test results and patient survival. It can correlate test results that are obtained in the lab and reported to physicians prior to patient treatment, with significantly longer or shorter overall patient survival depending upon whether the drug was found to be effective or ineffective at killing the patient's tumor cells in the laboratory.

This could help solve the problem of knowing which patients can tolerate costly new treatments and their harmful side effects. These "smart" drugs are a really exciting element of cancer medicine, but do not work for everyone, and a test to determine the efficacy of these drugs in a patient could be the first crucial step in personalizing treatment to the individual.

Author/Speaker/Performer :Larry Weisenthal, M.D., Ph.D.; Contact information: phone: (714) 596-2100. Link: http://weisenthal.org/Weisenthal_ESCIa.pdf Source : Eur J Clin Invest 37 (suppl. 1):60, 2007

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

My Dr. said they keep tissue indefinitely. It's worth asking if it can still be tested. Mine is currently being tested for HER2 response - 10 month after surgery.

nursey420's picture
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2009

So Sorry Pat to hear about your PET. I will have my 6 month surgery check up next month and hope that all is clear. Don't know what I will do if not. My prayers are with you
Lisa (of MN)

Posts: 743
Joined: Oct 2008

Pat, I am sorry to hear of your scan results. I am praying that you will find peace in all of the chaos of this horrible illness. I had 2 peri aortic lymph nodes light up on my last scan and had a biopsy 1 week ago today. I am still waiting for the results and praying for false positive scan.
We have to continue to fight and try to stay positive and trust that the Lord has a wonderful plan for us!
Love and Hugs,

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