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Taxotere & Doxil Question

Shiela
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi, I've been browsing this board for a few weeks and have found it very helpful. I've completed six rounds of Taxol/Carblotin chemo for recurrent endometrial cancer and need to stop the Taxol now because of worsening neuropathy in my feet. My doctor has suggested alternative drugs: Taxotere, Doxil, or Adriamycin. If anyone has had experience with these drugs,their effectiveness and side effects I'd really appreciate hearing your comments.

Thanks.

Shiela

SI
Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

Sheila,

I needed to change from Pacitaxol to Taxotere after the 3rd treatment due to severe neuropathy and pain. I did not exerience much neuropathy with Taxotere at all. I still had side effects, but I managed to finish all 6 rounds of chemo by changing to Taxotere. The major side effect that I experienced with Taxotere was intestinal cramping. I was not offered Doxil. The oncologist told me that Taxotere was generally tolerated by folks who could not tolerate Pacitaxol. He also said that both Pacitaxol and Taxotere were shown to be equally effective in uterine cancer.
Hope this helps a little. Best of luck!

Si

Shiela
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2010

Si,

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm very encouraged to hear you tolerated Taxotere well and didn't have much neuropathy or other serious side effects. The Pacitaxol has worked well on
my cancer but the neuropathy is becoming too much of a problem to continue. It's also good to hear Taxotere is equally effective against endometrial cancer.

Thanks again.

Shiela

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

Re side effects of taxotere or any other chemo drug. Always pay attention to how you feel. Don't assume you'll get better or side effects will go away on their own. And, as evidenced by this horrifiying story from the UK, if you think you should go to the emergency room----go.

Woman died after cancer drug side effects were ignored
A breast cancer sufferer died at home after her husband's warnings about the severe side effects of her chemotherapy drugs were ignored by hospital staff.

Published: 8:56AM GMT 30 Nov 2009

Eileen Downing's life could have been saved, if she had been taken to hospital when her husband, Terence, first raised the alarm, an inquest heard.

But despite his increasingly desperate phone calls to the hospitals oncology unit, when he told them of her deteriorating health, she was not brought in for treatment.

An inquest into Mrs Downing's death, held at Loughborough Magistrates heard her husband's concerns were not passed on to senior doctors at Leicester Royal Infirmary who would have brought her in for urgent care.

Mr Downing contacted the unit on Wednesday, April 9 last year after his wife, who had had an operation to remove cancerous cells from her left breast, became weak and dehydrated after her fourth cycle of chemotherapy.

She had been switched to the drug Taxotere, which gave her much more severe side effects than those she experienced with her previous anti-cancer medication.

Assistant deputy coroner Olivia Davison asked Mr Downing what advice he had received when he called.

He replied: "Hang on in there. Let's wait and see. It might not have been those words exactly."

Mr Downing said his wife became more poorly and asked to go to hospital on April 12, so he called the unit at 12.05pm.

He said: "They said they would go away and think about it.

"They asked me to carry on looking after her." He said he called again at 2.49pm.

He said: "I said it was absolutely essential she come in and they said there were some difficulties with bed availability.

"I called again at 4.40pm and demanded they call an ambulance and that's what I thought they had done.

The call came back after she had died.

"They rang back when I was trying to resuscitate her. I had to dial 999 to get an ambulance."

Ms Davison asked breast cancer specialist Dr Stephen Chan, of City Hospital, Nottingham, if Mrs Downing's death could have been prevented if she had been admitted on April 9.

He said: "I believe so."

Asked if there was a chance she could have been saved on April 12, he said: "There might have been a chance."

Dr Chan said the Infirmary had a very good system for dealing with such calls, but it had not been followed on either day because senior staff were not informed.

Michelle Wain, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust clinical governance manager, said an internal investigation was unable to establish who took Mr Downing's calls because no staff on duty at the time recalled taking them.

She said she was alarmed the call records appeared to have been shredded by clerical staff without authorisation.

She said: "As soon as this was discovered, in October, it was raised as an incident that must never happen again.

"The advice on the call on April 9 should have been to come into the unit for medical assessment.

"On April 12, the patient should have been brought in for immediate medical review."

She told Mr Downing: "We are very sorry for what happened to your wife and please accept our apologies and condolences."

Ms Davison recorded a narrative verdict of death caused by neutropenic sepsis the lowering of white blood cells increasing the risk of infection.

She said: "The trust has done an awful lot of work to get to the bottom of this.

"It is not as if the trust has come before me indifferent and has made no changes.

"It said it is changing things to ensure this cannot happen again.

"It is one of the saddest inquests I have had to conduct but I am heartened by the trust's response to it.

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