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Irinotecan & Erbitux

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

We found out today my husband's CEA had gone from 31 late Oct to 200 and he will start Irinotecan and Erbitux next week. He did 13 treatments of folfox w/avastin last Jan-Sept. and responded well to it. I've read all the side effects of these new meds but I really wanted to know from the people who have been there, done that, what we can expect and how do we deal with the side effect the best. Also how do the side effects compare with the folfox and avastin treatment?

He was dx with stage IV CC Dec 09.

Thanks,

Tina

damama24
Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Tina
Sorry to hear about your husband having to go back on chemo. I just wanted to give you what little info I can. I have been on Iriontecan and Vectibix(similar to Erbitux) since April of 2010. I have had very good response to this combo. When I started my CEA was over 9000 and is now way down. The biggest issues I have had with this is stomach cramps and diarrhea but I get Atropine with my pre-meds and it has really helped greatly. It took a few time to get the dosage correct so that it stopped cramps and diarrhea but didn't cause constpation. Since we got that figured out everything in that department has been pretty smooth sailing. The other thing is the acne like rash that the Erbitux, the Vectibix can cause it do but sometimes not a severly. My onc put me on antibiotics 2 weeks before starting and the ras I got was extremely mild and completely cleared up and has not returned. Now my hair did not completely fall out but got very, very thin so I just cut it extremely short. It has started to grow back very slowly but it is growing. I can say for me this combo is so much easier to handle than the Folfox was. Do have a little fatigue about 3rd day after chemo but am still able to do what I want and not much nausea but then nausea hasn't been a big problem for me on any chemo I've had. Hope this helps a little.
Deb

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks so much Deb. He was glad to hear that maybe this one won't be as bad.

Tina

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I've been on Irinotecan and Erbitux or just Erbitux for around 4 years. it's done a very good job for me with keeping tumors small and getting rid of some of them. The worst side effect I've had from Irinotecan was severe cramping and some constipation. The Erbitux caused the rash but that has lessened a lot of time. Now I have issues with very dry skin and splits on my fingers and some issues with my toes. Overall, it isn't too bad. I am on minocyclin every day and that seems to help with the rash too. I also had thinning of hair but never lost it all. For a few months I've been on only Erbitux. I tend to switch from both to just the one.
Best of luck to you. I've found it to be a very successful combo.
-phil

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I noticed your husband's T-shirt. Roll Tide ! I lived in Alabama from 1969-1992 and I'm a huge Bama fan.

I was diagnosed as Stage I, so I can't comment on chemo, but I sure can say RTR (Roll Tide Roll).
Joy

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Roll Tide!!!

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Roll Tide!!!

mukamom's picture
mukamom
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

with the chemo combo...Hubby Robert didn't have that particular combo..but we wanted to shout @ ya ROLL TIDE! (we live in Talladega)

Angela

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Sorry to hear your husband needs to go back on chemo but we do what we need to do. I haven't been on erbitux yet, that is what is next for me. I am on irinotecan as part of folfiri + take avastin as well. The irinotecan has caused me hair loss, diarrhea + cramping but overall is manageable. Good luck to your husband on this new treatment.

ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

Hubby was on Erbitux and had problems with the rash getting into his eyes. The best advice I can give is to stay ahead of it, as Deb said earlier, get the antibiotics ahead of time (doxycycline worked well) cleared the rash right up

Best of Luck with your treatment

Kathy

Bear23's picture
Bear23
Posts: 84
Joined: Jan 2010

Tina
I have been on Folfox, then with mets I went on Avastin +5FU. That did not work for me. I was KRAS tested to be wild so I went on Irinotecan and Vectibix which is similar to Erbitux. I started this the end of last July to October with great results. Then went on just Vectibix which is working to keep things stable. I had numerous mets to both lungs and the Irin and Vect decreased these substantially.

My side effects: major rash on my face, back and chest when I first started, went on doxycycline for a while and used cleocine gel on the rash. It has calmed down a lot and is managable. Extreme dry skin and eye irritation, small cuts by fingernails, eye lash growth. That's all from the Vectibix. Use a moiturizer heavily. Oh, I also had some coughing during my first infusion so I have decadron in my infusion. I had abdominal cramping with Irin which was controlled with atropine. Hair thinning, fatigue for a few days, feeling "off" on the day after infusion.

I think that's about it. It is much more managable than FOLFOX. That about did me in!

Hope things work out for you and yours.

Valerie

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you all for the advice. He does his first treatment tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. You guys are so great. It helps so much to be able to hear from people in the same boat.

Tina

Erinb
Posts: 295
Joined: Apr 2010

Good luck with treatment tomorrow. My husband is on Erbitux, irinotecan and Avastin. He has handled the treatment fairly well and has continued to work through his treatments except for every other infusion on Fridays when he has to be at the office. He lost his hair, developed a rash, has diarhea/constipation, and on occassion his toe gets infected & fluid develops near the edge of his nails. He also has problems with low white blood count so he gets a nuelasta shot during the 'heavy chemo'. He takes zofran or lomotil to help him with nausea and diareah. It sounds worse than it is. Bottom Line- He functions very well and it is easier for him than FOLFIRI. He does take doxycycline when he feels like it for the rash, but it upsets his stomach.

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Tina,

Tell hubby I'm sending him good wishes for tomorrow's first treatment. I'm sure he will do fine... and he's a few days ahead of me (I get my first treatment of Irinotecan on Monday)... so let him know he had a Canuck going through similar treatment at the same time. We can compare (figuratively speaking) war wounds from treatment to treatment .

I'll be thinking of him tomorrow!

Cheryl

lostit2003's picture
lostit2003
Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 2009

Randy's first treatment of Erbitux and Irinotecan went great!! No side effects except feeling a little draggy today, but I think that's just from being at the hospital from 7 am to 6 last night. The rest of the treatments he'll take at the clinic so it won't be near as long. Again thanks for all the advice and well wishes!!!

Tina

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