Topic: Chemoembolization

Well, after 9 weeks of chemotherapy we found out there is no change to the tumors.  This is not what we wanted to hear.  Now the oncologist is recommending chemoembolization.   What are the success rates for this procedure?   The side effects sound pretty rough.  I've tolerated the chemotherapy pretty well, but I'm still concerned.
I'm so angry, and disappointed, again.  First a failed resection, now this.  When will things go my way?

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

So sorry to hear that. Always, always keep your hopes up as you never know what is right around the corner. I do not know about that procedure but what about radiation or Cyber Knife? What about another doctors view?

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne, it's ok to be angry and keep on fighting.  Charlie has had some of the same things happen during his illness.  His liver resection was successful, but tumors were back in his liver just a few months later.  He's had a lot of chemo (I think about 30 weeks of different kinds over 18 months) and it's never done anything but keep the tumors stable or one tumor grows a little and one tumor shrinks a little.  He did have chemoembolization last year before his resection and he said it was worse than the major surgery and it didn't change his tumors.  Maybe you'll have a better reaction.  I hope so.  I'm sorry you didn't get better news.  Would another doctor's opinion give you any more information?  Best wishes.

Carol

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne, I don't know the answer to your question, but my father will begin chemoembolization soon and I will post here about how he fares.

5 (edited by Suzannegm Mon, 24 Nov 2008 14:09:19)

Re: Chemoembolization

thanks for your replies.  Has anyone tried radioembolization?

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne...wanted to tell you that under Medical Updates (Home page) you will find an abstract on chemoembolozation you might find worth reading. 
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne, again I will chime in, but I am new at this too. As I understand it:

Radioembolization is the same as chemoembolization in terms of method, but uses a radioactive material instead. That places some limitations on the patient as they are radioactive for a few days and can't be around pregnant women or small children or sleep in the bed with their spouse, etc as proximity is the key.

Additionally, my dad's oncologist explained that radio can cause arterial damage that could prohibit further treatment, so he likes to begin with chemo since it doesn't cause the same damage.

Check out sirtex.com also for a specific radio treatment that seems to have good results.

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne - My husband Fred had 4 chemoemboliztion treatments done at Hopkins.  The treatments killed about 50% of his tumor, but didn't shrink it in size any and due to the location of the tumor he was never considered a candiate for surgery.  The side effects really weren't that bad, he was basically out of it for a couple of days, but then he was back to work with no problems.  He did develop an liver abscess after the 4th treatment which is a rare side effect less than 4% from what we were told.  I believe without these treatements he wouldn't have made it as long as he did with this horrible disease.  Unfortunately we lost our battle on September 16.  If you would like more info or have anymore questions, feel free to email me.
Colleen

9 (edited by tiapatty Mon, 24 Nov 2008 19:12:43)

Re: Chemoembolization

Maybe you have already seen it but here is a good article on radioembolization:

http://carolinanewswire.com/news/News.c … 1&op=t

And here is an overview of different treatments:

http://www.sirweb.org/patients/liver-cancer/

Patty

Re: Chemoembolization

Thank you all for your posts.  Don't know what I would without this website.  I'm doing as much research as I can before turkey day.

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

Colleen - how did your husband decide on chemoembolization?   The radiologist is telling me there is no statistical data showing which is more effective, chemoembolization or radioembolization.  Because I am not presenting with typical CC symptoms, my case is even more unusual.   Plus there is no way to know if either will work.
I'm really struggling to make this decision.   Why can't this be easier?

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne,  Age 43 is when I was diagnosed.  I turn 53 the first week of January.  Count the years young lady and remember...... faith, love, laughter, and down right persistense.  Listen to your body and go with your gut feelings my dear.  When this CC gets mean you get mean right back.  If you let it take control of your emotions, the stress will work against you.  Yes it has finally caught up with me, but even being on home hospice, I'm still taking oral chemo for a take it to the limit one more time.  Hospice kinda questioned me about this matter and I said, if you do your job of caring and comforting,  what I'm doing won't make their task any more difficult.
God Bless,
Jeff

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne,

Here is a pretty good, though technical, overview of treatment options:

www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/hepatobiliary.pdf

Patty

Re: Chemoembolization

Jeff - again amazing words of wisdom.  Thank you.   I'm trying to keep a "fight" attitude.  I just hope I'm being given the opportunity to get as aggressive as possible.

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne, I had a long conversation yesterday with a nurse at Wake Oncology, one of the best sir-spheres (radioembolization) practices. My conclusion (which is by no means professional) is that radio is the best way to go. For us, some of the questions are logistics because my dad is 2 hours form their practice; however the side effects of the sir-spheres are far less than the chemo, at least as I understand it. While there are no guarnatess, it does seem that sir-spheres treatment has better results. The other big question is what will your insurance cover.

Good luck!

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne,
Fred wasn't a candidate for the radioembolization, thats why we went witth the chemoembolization.  His doctor Dr. J.F. Geschwind at Johns Hopkins is one of the world leaders for this treatment, so it wasn't a hard decision for us. Fred didn't present with the typical symptoms either and by the time the tumor was discovered it was almost 10cm x 10cm and wrapped around all the major blood vessles etc. in his liver.  Hopkins told us they considered the embolization treatments a success if it killed 50 - 75% of the tumor and or shrunk the tumor.  We had just about 50% death of the tumor and Fred lived 10 days shy of 18 months from diagnosis, so we considered the treatment a success and felt that without it he wouldn't have made it so long.  As Jeff said, I think you just have to go with your gut, jump in feet frist, try, try and try again.
Colleen

Re: Chemoembolization

Howdy everyone: I had chemoembolization (with doxorubicin) performed as first-line treatment after my diagnosis. Some people sail right through this procedure with few problems, but for me it was VERY painful. Also, I did not get much benefit from the treatment. During the chemoembolization, they did a hepatic arteriogram, which is standard practice so they can see exactly where to inject the embolizing material. While viewing the arteriogram, they could see for the first time several other lesions not diagnosed previously. These additional lesions could not be treated with chemoembolization. Long story short, they could only treat one tumor out of the 7 visualized on the arteriogram. (This episode was followed by another loooong story, which I will post elsewhere on this site. I eventually received appropriate successful treatment, and am now cancer-free for the time being).

According to info from my oncologist and my own research, chemoembolization is only effective for treating 1 or 2 tumors, and they should be less than 5 cm in diameter. In addition, only 50% of those treated will have a positive effect. Rarely are the tumors destroyed; usually, they are either stabilized or cause some shrinkage. It is considered palliative, not curative.

Violarob in Texas

Re: Chemoembolization

Thanks for everyone's input.  Quite honestly I'm scared to pieces of both chemoembo and radioembo.  Chemoembo REALLY scares me.  I finally today received a response from my oncologist (at Emory in Atlanta) regarding getting some guidance from him on helping me make a decision.  He told me that my scans were today reviewed by the tumor board and that chemoembo is recommended, but either way I go I need to do something soon.
I'm so afraid that either one of these procedures will upset the delicate balance I have going on, I have no pain or other major side effects except from regular chemotherapy. 
I'm afraid I'll start going downhill if I do this.  But I guess I need to do something.  Someone tell me what to do.

- Suzanne

Re: Chemoembolization

Suzanne,

My father had no symptoms other than weight loss. He had a C/E on Dec 29th and has fared very well. He will do it again on January 19th. We won't know until he gets another MRI if it is working, but so far at least (fingers crossed) it has done no harm.
FWIW, we sought three opinions and C/E was what all three said. We may pursue R/E with the third doctor if the chemo doesn't work.
Good luck with your decision and treatment!

Re: Chemoembolization

Please keep us posted Walk. 
Anyone know what is the qualification for candidate of radioembolization?

21 (edited by marions Fri, 09 Jan 2009 00:52:01)

Re: Chemoembolization

QuanYin....welcome to our very special group.  Until others have a chance to answer you it might be helpful to use the search function.  There are several postings re: radioembolization which are quite informative.  Good luck and please, stay in touch.
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Chemoembolization

Hi dhaka and welcome to our site.  We would love to hear more about your.
Best wishes,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER