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How long until tumors shrink?

Hatshepsut's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

My husband is on a chemotherapy regimen that includes oxy, vectibix and xeloda.

My Question: How long does it take for these chemotherapy drugs to begin to shrink colon cancer tumors? Do tumors respond immediately or does it typically (or sometimes) take many months to see results?

I've been trying to research this question online but have found little information to directly answer my question.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a reliable source of information? Or, has anyone had experiences, conversations with doctors or researchers, etc. that might help me answer this question?

I have talked to our oncologist about this but have found it difficult to pin him down on a time frame.


Posts: 186
Joined: Jun 2009

My hubby had six months Avastin, FOLFOX6, Oxy and the tumors in his liver did not shrink
but everything remained stable and now he had PVE and if his liver overgrows, MRI last of May he will have liver resection the following week. So I really can't answer your question...but we had hoped for shrinkage and it didn't happen. Hope this helps....wishing you all the best.

Thanks for the juicing recipes...we love the juicer.

Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2009

I too have wondered about this very thing, but my oncologist tells me that everyone reacts differently and regular scans will tell her if the tumors are shrinking or not. So i guess I just have to wait for my next scan to see if the chemo regime I'm on is working. I wish I could give you information that would help but I can't find anything either. I recently started on Iriontecan and vectibix. I have had two rounds and have handeled it well. I hope your husband is doing well also. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Blessibgs to you and your husband. Deb

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

I think the answer is no one knows because of many variables it is different for everyone. First the type of cancer rapid or slow growing; where; what type of chemo; your metabolism; diet; well the list goes on. I had radiation and chemo for six weeks then surgery. The tumor was about the size of a plum. When they removed it the tumor had reduced about half inch but 98% of the cancer cells had died. It was the extend of the damage done to the tumor/cancer that was important. Still after that even with no node involvement they hit me with another 15 weeks of chemo. Hope this helps. Lou

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

Hi Hatshepsut. I had either stabilization or slight shrinkage with all of the scans I've had on the Erbitux (or really any chemo I've been on). My schedule has been CT scans every 2 months. I do not recall having things grown while in treatment, it's only been while I've been on a short (2 month) break where things start to grow again. I should find out this week if that's still the case for me.
As with almost everything cancer related, how we react is different in each of us. I hope there are signs of shrinking when he gets his next scan.

Posts: 1939
Joined: Oct 2009

Mine first grew abit and then shrank so noticeably that I asked onc, radiologist and surgeon if I could continue living as is (after chemo/rad but prior to colostomy)with tumor still in me but reduced in size so that I could defacate without pain. Of course the answer was "no" and colostomy and postop chemo did take place (and when I was cut open surgeon found even larger growth that everyone seemed unaware of and hopefully was totally removed). From what I've read and experienced, I do not think there is a standard answer that fits all as we all react differently to identical treatment (mine a little different than your husband"s). Hopefully, your husband will see(and feel) positive results.....steve

Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2009

When my husband was on folfox for 3 months the dr. said he had 50% shrinkage to liver mets. and he was able to do resection at that time.

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