Topic: Report from Japan on CC follow-on chemo treatment
Does anyone else have info on this Japan study or use of similar treatment for surgery survivors?
This isn't the direct link. I had it once but I lost it. This article does recap the work done in Japan. And I haven't seen it referenced on this forum, perhaps I just missed it.
The bottom line is that the five year survival rate jumps from 23% to 57% if a course of gemcitabine is completed after liver surgery (partial removal) and radiation/chemo. Albeit, this is a very small sample size of cases it is interesting information.
Mary's Oncologist at Stanford, George Fisher, is apparently on top of all this for he started telling us about it in September even though the paper was only published the prior month. He recommended this chemo as Mary's strength increased after she had completed the radiation+oral chemo in August.
She started gemcitabine in October.
The bottom line is that the gemcitabine destroyed Mary's bone marrow after only two injections (week 1 and 2). In week 3 they gave her a transfusion of 2 units of whole blood because her blood metrics were in such bad shape. Subsequently, she will not restart the chemo because the impact to Mary is so negative.
Apparently, in the middle of all this, Mary developed a horrible upper back pain. They focused on that with xRay, MRI, bone scan and a simultaneous PET+CT combo scan plus tracking CA-19-9. The conclusion is that there isn't cancer present in the vertebrae. What is diagnosed is a "compressive fracture of a thoracic vertebrae." The source is unknown, but we suspect 1) Mary's Osteoporosis history coupled with 2) six weeks of radiation and 3) some weakening of the bone due to the bone marrow damage caused by the gemcitabine treatments.
Before the gemicitabine, she was darn close to being normal in her energy and behavior. One day she baked up dozens and dozens of cookies for the expected Thanksgiving visit by our adult offspring. Now, she is on a fentanyl patch and Celebrex to manage the pain in the upper back which makes her sleepy and lethargic. And, the fentanyl messes up her digestive tract like all narcotics do to her. The patch makes it much less but still messed up.
The current recommendation is to give her the nominal 8 to 10 weeks to heal the vertebrae and then head back to the Oncologist to see if there is any new news...a surveillance visit as it is called at Stanford.
Does anyone else have info on the Japan study or similar treatment for surgery survivors?