Topic: Tumor marker up :(

Hello again all

My mom went to her appointment today after starting back on Gemzar for 6 weeks (she stopped it for 12 weeks) and tumor marker results increased from 199 to 328.  And the dr said we knew this was going to happen (meaning not working anymore) so she decided to start her on a combination of the Gemzar and another type of chemo (not sure of name yet) and she will be getting treatments every 2 weeks instead of once a week.  My question is has anyone else seen their numbers go up while in treatment?  I just hope that this isn't the part where chemo no longer is stopping the cancer :'(

Here is a little history on my mom:
So my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV inoperable Cholangiocarcinoma in April this yearand given 4-6months to live with treatment...she started Gemzar and did 3 rounds of treament and her tumor marker went from 91 to 26 and then 10 at her last check.  Her doctor decided to keep her off Gemzar for 6 weeks and repeat the tumor marker and CT scan.  She had her follow up appointment last wednesday and found that her tumor marker went up to 30 and no change in the CT scan.  So she's gonna keep her off Chemo for another 6 weeks to give her body a rest because shes not tolerating the chemo to well she is realy short of breath and her hemoglobin drops while in treatment...at that same appointment the dr had also told my sister that death usually comes within a year of diagnosis.  Which really confused us because at an earlier appointment the dr was really impressed by the way the cancer was responding to the chemo, and told us that typically only 30% of pts respond to chemo and usually not as much as my mom did and that just increased her prognosis.  Can anyone give us some hope here, we were so hopefull earlier in the year, but was let back down last week....any advice or experiences would be appreciated

<3 Hoping and praying for a miracle for my mom <3

Re: Tumor marker up :(

Hello, Biscuit, to me, when a Doctor seems to be giving up its time for another opinion. We NEVER know when our time has come and neither do they. And we have the stories to prove it. I don't remember Mom's age but if she still wants to fight I would definately see another ONC. Death does not always come within a year. My husband survived 5 1/2 years. I would have a talk with Mom and follow her wishes. Wishing you the very best. Stay strong!

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: Tumor marker up :(

bisquit...yes, we have seen patients reach maximum of benefit with treatment.  The physician will take in account results of scans, blood test or other symptoms.  If the patient is able to tolerate the doctor will prescribe another drug or, as we see in your Mom's case she will add and additional drug(s) to the current regimen. 
Your Mom has done exceedingly well with her response so far therefore, one would assume that she will continue to do so in the future.
bisquit...no one has an expiration date stamped on their feet.  Physicians estimate based on experience, but people are individuals and respond differently. Therefore, fingers are crossed for another great response to the upcoming regimen.  And, don't give up on hope - we thrive on it.
Please, keep us posted; we care.
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