Topic: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Hello everyone, my name is varun, i'm from Bangalore, India. My mom aged 53 yrs has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc about 2 months back, we attempted surgery to resect the tumor, but it couldn't be resected as it has already infiltrated the blood vessels and they just ended up  doing a bypass. Her jaundice is almost gone and she's just like a normal person. Doctors say chemotherapy or radiotherapy is almost useless and ineffective. However there was one doctor (oncologist) who we met who suggested chemotherapy using gemcitabine along with biological therapy. Also, when the surgery was performed, a biopsy of the actual tumor wasn't done, and a biopsy of only the lymph nodes were done which didn't reveal any cancer. The oncologist says, the surgeon should have definitely done a biopsy of the tumor at least using a brush to get some cells,  and the surgeon says biopsy of the actual tumor is never done.

We also got a tumor marker test done, CEA, which was slighty out of range (4.78) and CA 19-9, was normal. We are a little confused now, it is cc 99%. Anyway, Could anyone please tell me how effective biological therapy or chemotherapy is?


Varun

2 (edited by marions Tue, 27 Nov 2007 23:13:09)

Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Dear Varun,
So sorry to be hearing about your Mom but am happy for you to have found us.  The question in re: to chemotherapy is something under debate for all of us, as it is helpful to many, and yet not to others battling this disease.

Until others can respond to you, it might be helpful to enter

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Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Varun,

Which biological therapy is the oncologist suggesting?  There has been some evidence that combining Avastin with chemo agents makes the chemo agents more effective in cancers like colon and pancreatic.  I believe several members of this community have witnessed similar benefits when adding Avastin to their chemo regime for cholangio. (althought I'm not immediately aware of a study indicating the same)  Generally, chemotherapy alone keeps the tumors at bay (shrinking and/or stopping growth for a time).  However, eventually the tumors may build up an "immunity" against the chemo agents and start growing again.  That's when the oncologist would switch the patient to another chemo regime to see if they can find something else that will work for a time. 

My heart goes out to you and your mom.  I'm glad that she's able to find relief from her symptoms.

- Sara

30-something caregiver

Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

From my personal opinion, (I am not a doctor and I dont play one on tv) I want to say hooey when doctors play down the effectiveness of chemo. I think the so so results were based on older forms of chemo and not the newer ones which have been developed in the past couple of years. But then again-I might just be wishful thinking, but I do think that many people are getting older information from doctors who not have many cc patients to keep them up to date.

Best of luck for your mom!!!
Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Sara wrote:

Varun,

Which biological therapy is the oncologist suggesting?  There has been some evidence that combining Avastin with chemo agents makes the chemo agents more effective in cancers like colon and pancreatic.  I believe several members of this community have witnessed similar benefits when adding Avastin to their chemo regime for cholangio. (althought I'm not immediately aware of a study indicating the same)  Generally, chemotherapy alone keeps the tumors at bay (shrinking and/or stopping growth for a time).  However, eventually the tumors may build up an "immunity" against the chemo agents and start growing again.  That's when the oncologist would switch the patient to another chemo regime to see if they can find something else that will work for a time. 

My heart goes out to you and your mom.  I'm glad that she's able to find relief from her symptoms.

- Sara

Thanks so much Sara for taking your time and helping me out, the oncologist suggested chemo using gemcitabine along with Avastin and bio-map.  He wants to try it all together to give it everything to fight the cancer. Just hope that it works, this has really hit us very hard.  We will be taking a few more opinions from other doctors.I'm glad I found all of you.

Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Thanks for replying and helping me out everyone,  I really appreciate it. I'm so glad I found this website.

7 (edited by JeffG Wed, 28 Nov 2007 16:27:56)

Re: My mom has been diagnosed with intrahepatic cc

Vanun...... I have used many different chemo regimens and some are more effective than others and like Sara mentioned they become immuned after a while and you can switch to another regimen.  I also would like to mention 3-D conformal radiation treatments have been successful for me with reducing tumors and pain as well.  All these treatments are very individual and your Mom may react different than some one else doing the same thing. a lot of trial and error with this disease. Positive attitude, perseverance, hope and prayer go a long ways as well.
God Bless your Mom and You!
Jeff G.

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