CSN Login
Members Online: 18

You are here

Docetaxel (Taxotere) - Experiences - Thoughts?

Raddad
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

Some background on me

Age 64 as of April 2012
12 7 11 - 1447
Scans showed active prostate cancer widespread in bones
HT treatments & Zometa for bone
31 10 11 - 46.6 Cheers!
25 1 12 - 75 - Crap
22 2 - 99
22 3 - 149 - Start Zytiga
25 4 - 113 | 22 5 - 66 | 19 6 - 38 | 19 7 -34
21 8 - 27.4 |
Diagnosed with TB - started TB Medications
21 9 - 36.8
My medical team found one of the TB med's was effeectly diluting the Zytiga - changed one of the TB Meds
6 10 - 33
Most recent PSA as tested last friday - my PSA went from 33 to 66 in 6 weeks, my medical team thinks the TB meds maybe still affecting the Zytiga. The in place plan is a increased Zytiga dosage than go back in about 2 weeks and have the PSA tested, and possible nuclear imaging scans.

Just on the remote off chance (thinking positively!) the increased Zytiga dosages not work - will be time to go to some next treatment.

I see two possible paths
Path 1
MDV3000 (Xtandi), than Alpharadin when the Xtandi does not work. (Note my Onc Doc has already said he would give me Xtandi pre-chemo)

Path 2
Docetaxel (Taxotere), than later MDV3000 (Xtandi), Alpharadin

>>>>>>>>>> Thoughts on the possible paths? Any thing else I should be looking at (Provenge is out)

I've just about convinced myself Docetaxel (Taxotere) is so hard on the body - its something I want to avoid. Also I've seen here on HW where Docetaxel (Taxotere) failed for so many.

However Docetaxel (Taxotere) has been around since 2008 or so, it must have been successful for many.

>>>>>>>>> Questions
1. How valid is my concern on Docetaxel (Taxotere) being hard on the body? As in do I even want to put up with it?
2. When having the Docetaxel (Taxotere) treatments - were folks able to drive to and from the treatments?

Thanks all!

Hugs

Bud

We will beat this crap!

tspoon
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2011

My husband has his 6th treatment 3 wks ago, so I can help you here. We had no hope really when he decided he would give it a try, but can you really not try? He is on "vacation" the 3rd of Dec. we get the full results of his new scans, and decide on the last 4.

While it has not been easy, it has been mostly inconvenient. Before his first treatment his WBC was 13.7, within 4 days it was. 08, so this meant he was neutropenic and needed to get the shots to build up his WBC so he would stay well. It turned out he is chemo sensitive, but this was a double pointed sword. We live 40 miles from doc, so for next 3 wks he went in daily, including Sat for shots and ivs. Got it up to 4.5 by 3rd week , so. . .another chemo treatment. Went back daily for 2 wks, 3rd treatment only one week and mondays to watch it. After that every treatment was 2 wks worth of shots, 3rd week off.

The shots draw from your bone marrow, like jolts of electricity to start with, by third treament/shot regime jolts are building up in the pain dept. and get your attention. By the 5th treament, you roll in pain for 2 days, and the pain is coming from everywhere, your shoulders, your head, your legs and your feet even. Last treatment we got ahead of it, tylenol 3 works best, believe it or not. Day four after chemo, start taking it and pain is more nagging than anything.

Now, remember 40 miles each way, alllll those days, so inconvenient.

Now the taxotere experience itself. Treatment on Monday, you feel great, around thurs pm, maybe getting funky/tired. No later than fri pm really, really tired and just don't feel good. You rest all weekend and the following week you gain your legs back. Week 3, you feel great, like nothing was ever wrong with you. Now, you have never been ill, just a general malaise is all. Your doc will make sure you are NEVER nauseous, bowel issues, not gonna happen. They really do have it down to an art.

Every treatment is the same. Takes about 1.5 hours, 15 minutes for the port flush or so, go get lunch, shop or go to work. Treatments are every 3 wks and the side effects really are minimal, except for the shots, there is no pain. (port placement does hurt for a few dayss, after all it cuts into chest/upper breast tissue) You can set your calendar by the events and prepare for it.

Right now we know his MRI shows shrinking of tumors in his bones, his psa is down to 2.2. Bone scan sceduled for next Monday, then PET, and wait for the third.

So yes, he would recommend it. He does have some tingling in his feet, he drove himself for the shots, we went together for chemo, moral support really is all. He went into it scared to death of the poison he was putting in his body, but when your choices are so few, you grab everything you can, he doesn't quit anything.

He was diagnosed March 2011, PSA 1913. Gleason 4+5, stage 4, bone mets from base of his neck to hips make me cry, lymph nodes, bone marrow involvement, and a total of 5 spots between both lungs. He is 60 now, went on disability April 2012 mostly so he could take pain meds for the mets, xgeva for the bone cancer as well.

PS If you know anything about prednisone over such a long period of time, you will wind up with "moon face." It is temporary and will go away, after first treatment beginning of week 3, he said his scalp hurt. His hair was falling out, that went away when I shaved it. Sorry if this is wordy and jumbled, this small screen it is hard to go back to previous paragraphs.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

Raddad
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

I really hope I can avoid the first part!

I do not do pain well at all:)

PSA down - thats great. Even better is the shrinkage of bone mets.

nowrest
Posts: 48
Joined: May 2011

I have been on the stuff for over a year. Treatments every three weeks. I find that I have to rest for about four or five days after the treatment. No pain or anything. The biggest issue is constipation. I have tried everything to prevent or control it with some success. I don't drive after the treatment. They were giving me Benadryl with the treatment which really made me tired. We have stopped that now. Is it working ? Who knows! My PSA is a over the board but the lympth nodes have decreased in size so that is good news.

tspoon
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2011

The constipation was easily beat with senna, taken regularly with help you a lot. Felt like it was mostly a result of the extra pain meds. Benadryl, that is guaranteed to make you sleep. Zofran was given for the anti nausea at chemo, and regimen for 3 days. Script for compazine was never taken, and Ativan was never filled for anxiety.

After a year you have to be tired of it whether it is working or not. So many ups and downs gets to be draining mentally as well physically. Wishing you well, and enjoy your holidays.

Raddad
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

Over a year? I thought was 6 to 8 treatments 3 weeks apart.

Why do you not drive after the treatment?

Thanks!

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2381
Joined: Nov 2010

Bud

I cannot answer about Docetaxel, but the sequential on your path 1 and 2 seems reasonable. In any case the drugs you mention all act differently and even a combination (taken together not in a sequential) would probably work better. The fact that doctors recommend them to patients after chemo experience is due to FDA’s approval.
Chemo naïve patients are already using these drugs with success.

MDV3100 (not MDV3000 you wrote) is an androgen-receptor (AR) antagonist while Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride) is a radiopharmaceutical that targets bone metastases (new bone and tumour cells) killing cancer with alpha irradiation.
MDV3100 will “tackle” any attempt by the cancerous cells in mutation (altering their ARs), where ever they may be “living”; and Alpharadin directly kills cancer in bone because it (radium) mimics the calcium in body so that it “tricks” our system in taken it to the areas of increased bone metabolism associated with bone metastases.
These two taken together would give a bigger blow to advanced cancer cases. Any of those taken with chemo may cause a “war on the enzymes”, so that not letting the drugs to metabolise totally.

Docetaxel (Taxotere) interferes with the mitosis process (cell division) therefore avoiding a progressive status in advanced cases. It is like practicing a “stand still” act, just stopping any possibility of the cells into mutation. Application of chemo before radiation has been successful in improving survival. However, few doctors recommend it as a prime neoadjuvant treatment. I think the reason being again due to FDA’s discrimination when approving newer drugs. Patients in advanced cases (progressive) that usually have failed other treatments are moved to trials and therefore become the first ones to successfully benefit from the drugs. Their success makes approval easier to take and possible.

I would recommend you to consult an oncologist specialist on targeted medication for detailed advice.

TSPPON puts it so well. Her post is very informative and an experience to follow. Thanks for sharing your husband’s story.

Regards.

VGama

nowrest
Posts: 48
Joined: May 2011

I don't drive first of all with the Benadryl I was afraid I would fall asleep. Now without it I still feel woozy. The process at our clinic takes about four hours as they do labs first. After all that sitting I just don't feel good. By the way I have had a total of 35 Cheom treatments. Can't get rid of the big C but trying to contol it.

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

because of my side effects my Doctor is changing me to cetuximab. my side effects were

tingling and loss of feeling on the bottom of my feet.

sores on both arms.

dry patches on face

lost of hair

has anyone use cetuximab

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Dayton,

Your post is not totally clear to me, but as I read it, you were previously on Taxotere, and now are going to Cetuximab ?

I've had three friends go through Taxotere: two guys with prostate, and one woman with breast.  it is the most common PCa chemo, and one of the most common Breast Cancer chemos, although for breast, it is ususally part of a cocktail - three or more chemos at once.

I have not known anyone on Cetuximab, but it is listed as a "monocolonal antibody," which is a newer (10 years old or thereabout) type of chemotherapy, similiar to the very popular Rituxan, which is used for blood cancers, and also for inflammatory arthritis.   Rituxan is a much easier drug to use than "conventional"chemos (drugs classified as 'cytotoxic'), but Cetuximab has quite a long list of possible side-effects.  Your hair will likely grow back while on Cetuximab, since Rituxan does not cause hair loss.

Cetuximab does not have a long track record in use against PCa, and is regarded as experimental for PCa use by some insurance carriers, but your doctor most likely knows the details on this for your particual insurance and situation.

The numbness you described is neuropathy, caused by nerve damage to the fingers and toes (digits).  I had severe neuropathy to the waist , but it usually mitigates/gets less severe over time. Some chemos kill the nerve  insulation in the ifngers and toes, causing this.  (I was never on Taxotere, and got neuropathy from a different Hodgkin's Lymphoma drug known as Vinblastine.)

Cetuximab is apparantly not given with steroids (Prednisone, etc.) but Taxotere always is.   Steroids almost always cause insomnia, jitters, and increased appetite.  If you previously were on steroids but go off of them, you may find that you are much more tired and lose appetite.  I did a five-drug combination of chemo drugs with no steroid for six months, and slept about 15-17 hours per day for about five months, and became anorexic, unwilling to eat, living on Ensure and other drinks.

Here is a description of both drugs from chemocare.com, which is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic and the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative (Scott Hamilton was an ice skater who later contracted brain cancer.)   I hope your experience is mild; most people do NOT get most of the side-effects listed for any given chemotherapy drug.

Chemos for PCa are not regarded as curative, but rather pallative: They beat the disease back, but do not completely eradicate it.  Patients treated for blood cancers with Ritruxan often live for many years, or even a decade or more, with no advancement of the cancers.  In that sense, chemo for PCa is analogous to HT, which also is not curative.  Chemo is used at a variety of pionts in PCa treatment: Neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or in end-stage (terminal).

max

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/cetuximab.aspx

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Taxotere.aspx

.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2381
Joined: Nov 2010

Max,

Your post is very informative. Can you share details regarding the time, length of the symptoms you experienced and what you did/take to counter the effects? What was the protocol?

I hope that guys on chemo treatment manage to control and lay down the bandit successfully.

Best wishes for a good 2017.

VG

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Will do so Vasco...headed out door at moment.

max

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Vasco,

I wrote an about 2,000 word response to this....and it vanished. If it shows up great. If not, I'll try to re-wrtie tomorrow.

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you Max for your response. Iwill give a short history of my last few months.

I was being treated by Dr.Dattoli and he thought I was in good shape even with my PSA still at .557 so he stopped my Trelstar in May. I went all summer with no blood tests( mistake) and starting in August all food started to taste bad and i started to lose weight. I thought it was a GI problem so went to a Dr. and he ran several tests and it showed that I had a issue with my liver. went back to Dattoli Sept. 20 and he ran a few tests thought I was looking OK. did a blood test and it came back with a PSA of 154 and raised Liver numbers. He thought it was a mistake so he tested again and it was 701. He sent me to Sand Lake for scans and it show that I bone mets through on many of my bones all small spots, something on my sigmoid and a spot on my liver.He started me on Zytiga. I had a colonoscopy and it showed 3 prostate cancer spots on my sigmoid. Since Dr. Dattoli did only radiation and seeds I went back to Moffitt cancer center in Tampa. I started seeing Dr. Fishman and and the last blood test that Dattoli did was 469 I had one done at Moffitt and it had gone to 1207 so they started the taxotere. I have had 2 sessions so far. let me back up a little. In Oct. I had a other blood test called Guardant 360 and they sent back a 15 page report of drugs that would help me. Most were in stage trials but one of them was the Cetaximab. My last blood test at Moffitt showed the PSA up to 1368 but the but the ALT had gone down a lot. The Dr. said one chemo session won't drop the PSA. So I am started on the Cetaximab on Wed. I am still on the Zytiga.

I hope I was not too confusing. The Dr. said if this doesn't work I have 6 months if it does I will have a few years. I am okwith this as I have a great family and friends and I will enjoy them as long as I can.

It has been 12 years since I had my prostate removed so it has been a long battle.

 daytona19     

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

You are a fighter, Daytona, one of the guys who have run the gauntlet.

I had a friend who once tested at over 1,000 PSA, but otherwise your's is one of the highest I've ever read here.  He later went on Zytiga and Jevtana, but he was not a very conscientious patient, would skip and lapse in treatments for weeks or months at a time, so his course is not applicable to most men.  But he  lived about a year during his Taxotere> Jevtana> Zytiga course.  I would think taken correctly he would have had at least a year more.  His worse side-effect was terrible, terrible looseness of bowel, but he had had radiation burn years earlier.

Cetaximab did not exist then. You are to be thanked for apparantly being one of the earliest men in clinical trials for that drug agains PCa, which was initially developed for metastatic colo-rectal.

I hope it does wonders for you,

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks Max for your response. I wrong about when I would get the Cetuximab it is Jan. 11 as the Dr. wants to keep the same 3 week schedule. I will let you know how I am doing. I am still on Zytiga and never miss taking it so I should get full benefits from it if it works. I know this will not cure me just trying to get some more time with my family and friends. I just wish my taste buds were good so I could drink some wine!!

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Daytona,

When I first got lymphoma in 2009, oncologist said I had a 60% chance to live five years. It's seven years now, and lymphoma free.  I was 53 at diagnosis, and wanted to live to 58, so see both kids graduate (I did not marry until 34 years old).   Soon, the younger will finish college !

I know PCa is different. I'm glad your oncologist is on top of things and maximizing the threapies for you. Do not assume you have any limited number of years !

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks Max,

My case is  serious but I have not given up hope. My family and friends are so supportive and I am enjoying them. I have a 6 and 8 year grandchildren living 2 miles away and they are the joy of my life. I have a wonderful wife and 2 children that give joy every day so i have a lot to live for.

Thank you again for your support.

daytona19 

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Max,

I have not got the complete blood test back yet but the ones I got look ok. I was wrong about the chemo. I will still get the taxotere every 3 weeks but at a lower dose and the cetaximab weekly. I had them both yesterday it took 4  hours. It is the steroids they give me with the taxotere that wear you out as i can't sleep that night. 

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Daytona,

Most chemo vets of numerous relapses describe Prednisone as the most miserable of chemo experiences. Irritability, restlessness, insomnia are common. Then the 'crash,' and sleeping a few days.

I never used any steroid, but understand. Please continue to update,

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi max,

I am having a good week but my chemo is next wed. so I will enjoy my good days. My PSA is still high but my liver numbers are getting better. Which is good because the liver is the thing that will do me in. The PA saids that the PSA numbers don't start dropping till after the 4th session. I needed to get 2 shots Neupogen to get my WBC up ( white blood cells) and it worked it went from 1.37 t0 11.4.  I will update after the next session.

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Daytona,

I'm glad it is going well for you. You are doing everyting right: keeping informed and in good spirits.

I do not recall when Gary's PSA began coming down, but Taxotere did take him from 1,000+ to under 200.  Used systematiclly and as the doctor's require, it does give guys a year or more.  Beyond that, I do not recall if you have taken Jevtana, which is usually a post-Taxine drug.

I had to take Neulasta also to boost WBCs. Low WBC is very common after most chemos.  It can cause some bone pain, since it is kickstarting the bone marrow to make new WBCs, but it is almost always effective.

Pulling for you  !   The Daytona race beginning the new NASCAR season is Feb 26 !

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Max,

I had both Taxotere and cetaximab on Feb.1 which lasted 6 hours. My brother came from Ca. on the 2nd and I had a good weekend. Got worn out and then on feb.8 got just the cetaximab. I have some new side effects, rash on scrotum with a little bleeding and sores on eye lids. cancer is not for sissies. I have a lot questions for my Dr. who I will see on feb.15. Last week I got Neulasta which had a injector that they put on my stomach which waiting 27 hours to inject.

Your are right the race is coming up but I won't make it this year but will watch on TV.

daytona19 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

daytona,

I got a neulasta shot after each infusion. As you experienced, it must be given between 24 to 48 hours after an infusion. And it is ordinarily a tiny shot in the stomach.

I'm glad you had the quality time with your brother.  In NASCAR I'm an ABT guy: "Anything But Toyota." How can a Camry be a racecar ?  What next, using Corollas as monster trucks ?

Pulling for you,

max

 

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Max,

I remember when they were real stock cars. Now they all look the same. The only difference is the engines. The drivers my family like are Matt Kenseth,Dale Jr. and we like Chase Ellliott. I see my Dr. next week and I have 15 questions for him. I will let you and VG what he says'

daytona19

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Max,

Got my blood results yesterday and all numbers look better. My PSA went from 1421 to 780.Dr. Fishman seem fairly pleased. He is hard to read. There is no cure just more time. I asked him about Immunology which i think is the future and he said there meeting about that in orlando in the next few weeks. You never know what will happen in the future. We will all die but if you have cancer it is more on your mind.Just enjoy your family and friends as long as you can.

daytona19

Old Salt
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 2014

And may the chemo really help you!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Sorry to miss your post for a week Daytona.  The race is of course SUNDAY !

The chemo cut your PSA in half. That has got to be a good thing.  It may go lower still.  Gary's went from a little over 1,000 to about 220 if memory serves me three years later.

You are correct and it is importatnt that you understand this is not curative, as you stated.

Bless you guy, and may your favorite win ...

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you Old Salt. We will see.

daytona19

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Max,

I had taxotere and cetaximab yesterday and I feel ok today. Food will taste funny for awhile but it alway taste a little funny. With the cancer in my bones, liver and sigmiod not sure how low my PSA will go. It would be nice if I get a few years but will take what I can get.I have a great family and a large group of friends pulling for me so that is good.

Thank you for your support. I am pulling for Junior for the.

Phil

daytona19 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Phil,

I'm glad your feeling ok following the infusion.   I looked back through this thread, and know that you did HT and Zytiga.

Be aware that Jevtana is a post-chemo drug, started after chemo is no longer effective (but chemo is clearly VERY EFFECTIVE for you currently).  So, down the road there is still another drug to apply. 

Dale Jr. is the most popular driver in NASCAR, and is in the first row for Sunday.  I have one of his shirts that I bought from his trailer one year in Charlotte. He is the richest driver in NASCAR, with a worth of $300 million dollars !   I think he got married this winter.

I hope you enjoy it....maybe invite some people over and have a man-cave event !

max

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Jevtana.aspx

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi max,

My PSA just jumped to 877 so I am hopefully a candidate for Jevtana. The jump might not mean that taxotere has stopped working but it is worrisome.

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Daytona,

I'm sorry the PSA drifted up.  You are right: it is best to stick with the Taxotere as long as it is at least partially effective.

Be aware that Jevtana is also an IV med, and getting it will be very similiar to your Taxotere infusions, and it also is accompanied by Prednisone.  Gary got terrible loosness in his bowel while on Jevtana, so be careful of your diet. But the oncologists believed that Gary's bowel issues were exacerbated by radiation he had received years earlier, for which he later had to have cauterizations in his rectum and colon. 

Regardless,  diarrhea is common and sometimes serious for most Jevtana patients. Heavy hydration is critical for any cancer patient on any form of chemotherapy.  I believe that extreme dehydration was the immediate cause for Gary's passing in Hospice, allthough of course he had little time by any reckoning.

With you in Spirit,

max

daytona19
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi max,

Well since my last post I developed Ascites and swellen ankles. They put me in the hospital for 3 days and took out fluid in midsection and lungs. I have not gotten worst. i am taken bumex 20 mg. They have cancelled my last chemo due to the gain and my Dr. wants to see me on the 5th and hopefully change my program. I am tired all the time.

Your friend

daytona19

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 2366
Joined: May 2012

Bless you man. Your spirit is obviously still perfect. I also responded to your note at the other thread.

max

Subscribe to Comments for " Docetaxel (Taxotere) - Experiences - Thoughts?"