Topic: A couple chemo questions

Hi all. My mom is hanging in there and going through the chemo routines for cc. I have a few questions.

Background: She started with gemcitibine last fall and had good luck with that for a little while, however the tumors started growing again and so they added oxaliplatin for two rounds (Gemzar and Oxaliplatin infused on one day and then three weeks off for each round). After two rounds the tumors still appeared to be growing/becoming more defined and so they took her off that and switched her to Xeloda (2 weeks on and then a week off per cycle) and she is just now finishing up her first 2 weeks on and will have a CT scan next week to see if it is working.

Two questions:
1. Her doctor is very proactive, which is super, but I wonder if he is giving the chemos enough time to work before moving onto the next?

2. How do oxaliplatin and cisplatin compare? After she went off the oxaliplatin she asked him about cisplatin and he said the platinum drugs tend to work in similar ways, so if one didn't work, the other one won't likely either. True? Or has anyone had success with one and not the other?

Thanks for any thoughts you have on these topics!

Re: A couple chemo questions

Don't know if this is any comfort, but we were basically told the same thing.  First, there is little reason to continue chemo regimen once the tumor starts to grow and the CA19-9 rise.  In my mom's case, she had a very, very slight increase in size on CT scan and a rise in the CA19-9 and the doc thought there was no point in continuing the same treatment.  Second, cisplatin and oxy work in the same way and the doc didn't think switching from the cis to the oxy would help.  Therefore, my mom is on Xeloda.  He wasn't very optimistic about it shrinking the tumors, but her CA19-9 has gone down after each three week cycle (2 wks on/1 off).   We just pray it continues.  Hope you get some good news from the scan.  Good Luck and God Bless.

Re: A couple chemo questions

That is very reassuring! Thanks for your response! I am also happy to see that your mom is responding to the Xeloda. My mom has been quite optimistic about this the past two weeks - just feeling mentally like this is working - and her doctor hasn't seemed quite as optimistic with the Xeloda. But I have seen good things mentioned here to this point.

Good luck to your mom as well. Thoughts and prayers are with you both.