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Recurrence during 1st line treatment

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2011

My fiancé was diagnosed with stage 3c ovca in Feb 2011. She under went chemo to reduced size and spread of the tumor before surgery. She had debulking surgery in April 2011. dr was able to remove all visible cancer but did say that her spread was “extensive” she had complete hysterectomy, her appendix removed, and part of her colon and rectum removed. Before surgery her CA125 was 15,000 and it was reduced to around 200 after. She started chemo again post surgery with taxol/cisplantin. Unfortunately after three rounds her ca125 has increased to over 500 and a CT scan shows recurring cancer in several places on liver, and also in her abdomen and pelvis. The plan was to switch to Doxil and avasten, but due to the shortage of doxil she will use topotecan/avasten instead. Can anyone tell us what to expect in regards to her cancer responding? It seems as though recurring during first line treatment is “worst case scenario.” Does any one have a similar story? We just want to know what to expect, whether it is good or bad.

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

I'm so sorry to hear the both of you are dealing with this horrible disease. I can't really tell you what to expect. No one really knows for sure. My recurrance came 6 years later, so I can't offer too much insight. But I'm sure you'll get some hopeful responses from many women here who have been through similar situations. And many stories offer MUCH hope and encouragement.

Please keep us up-to-date. And maybe when your fiancee' is feeling a little better she'll want to visit here also.

(((HUGS))) and Prayers,

carolenk's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I can't say I know much about your fiancé's prognosis. It is not uncommon for women to look really sick & then turn around when the right treatment is used. Do you know if the type of cancer is called "clear cell"? The reason I am asking is that clear cell ovarian cancer often doesn't respone to the taxol/carbo treatment. Some success has been seen with a chemo that is used for clear cell kidney cancer called "Torisel."

Stay hopeful. It is still early yet and there are other possible chemo treatments to try.


Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009


It is very unusual for cancer to recur during first line treatment. She might be platinum resistant, though and maybe the switch in drugs will do the trick.

If I were you, I would ask the doctor, and make sure he knows you want straight answers. Sometimes, unless you are very specific, they don't like to answer the tough questions.

I made my doctor promise me up-front that he would always tell me everything - good or bad.

Best of luck to you both. I know it's a really crappy time in your lives.

Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Phillip

I have some similarities to your fiance, as I grew cancer through my first line of treatment (six rounds of taxol/carboplatin). I wasn't scanned until after that treatment (despite a rising CA125) - so I'm glad they found that this treatment wasn't helping your fiance right away. After that, I went on Doxil. My next gyne/onc wanted to incorporate Avastin with the Doxil, but my insurance wouldn't cover it. I continued to grow cancer throughout Doxil as well.

At that point, my husband found a clinical trial (OVax) on clinicaltrials.gov, that seemed to fit my particular circumstances (type of cancer, treatments I'd been through, health, operable tumors, etc.). For me, it was a great decision. I have now had no evidence of disease for over 1 1/2 years (its been four years since my initial diagnosis).

There is hope. Its too soon to give up :) I thought for sure I was a 'goner' when Carbo/Taxol, and Doxil all had no effect on my cancer. I'm here today thanks to getting second and third opinions, following my gut instincts, and doing some research.

Good luck to you and your fiance!

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2011

thats great information "survivingovca." thanks alot

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