1 (edited by Hilde/Stina/Ida Mon, 24 Jul 2006 07:23:30)

Topic: Need advice regarding Avastin

Our father, who is 57, have been diagnosed with CC a few weeks ago. He has a Klatskin tumor, and the cancer has spread to the liver and stomach lining, wich makes an operation impossible. (Please forgive any errors in spelling, we are Norwegian so English is not our first language, and medical terms in English are new to us). I believe the cancer is stage 3, but this is not confirmed by his doctor.

The oncologist we have talked to wants to try chemotherapy as soon as the jaundice is better. His billirubin-values is improving slowly after three stents were placed a couple of weeks ago.

According to the oncologist the treatment wil be either a combination of Oxiliplatin and 5FU, or Gemzar.

Avastin is not commonly used on CC in Norway, and there are currently no clinical trials. Because of this it seems like he will not be treated with Avastin. Our impression is that it is quite commonly used on CC in the US and UK. We would like to find out how common it is, and more about results of any clinical trials of Avastin on CC. Does anyone have any advice or information regarding this?

Hilde, Stina and Ida.

Re: Need advice regarding Avastin

Dear Hilde, Stina, Ida-

I am currently on Gemzar and Xeloda.  My doctor thinks that adding the Xeloda is making a difference.  The Gemzar is fairly easy to tolerate.  I started with it alone and we added the Xeloda later.

My doctor has gotten approval from my insurance company to go to Avastin next if the Xeloda doesn't work out.  It's my understanding that the Avastin must be used with another chemo, and that Avastin isn't actually a chemo drug itself - it shrinks the blood vessels to the tumors.  There is a website for Avastin that you might want to check out.

I heard there was a clinical trial for a new Avastin.  One of the people from England mentioned it on this site.  I have heard that Avastin is very expensive.

Good luck.  I hope your father is able to start his treatment soon.

-Caroline Stoufer

Re: Need advice regarding Avastin

Dear Hilde, Stina, Ida

I'm a CC sufferer based in the UK.  I have spoken to several oncologists regarding Avastin and it is not being given anywhere in UK for CC.  One of the leading cancer hospitals in UK has started a stage 2 trial using an Astrazenica drug, referred to as AZ2171, which was described to me as "a 2nd generation Avastin" - I understand that this drug is taken in oral form and is given alone ie not in conjunction with chemo.  Apparently the trial is targetted at CC patients who have failed to respond to chemo.  If my current chemo is found to be ineffective it's being suggested that I go onto this trial, obviously at that stage I will find out more.

Hope this helps


Re: Need advice regarding Avastin

There are several of us here on this website who are using Avastin.  Mark's oncologist often tells us that statistics show that Avastin boosts the results of every kind of cancer it has been studied with, so we will keep using Avastin no matter what regimen we are on. 

It took a good deal of effort for many people to get Avastin, but others were able to easily get it added to their regimen.  It has mostly depended on the insurance company and the lengths the doctor was willing to go to get it for the patient.


Re: Need advice regarding Avastin

Thank you very much for your replies!

Our father will start chemo soon, hopefully in a few days. The oncologist have told us that there is only one clinical trial on CC/Avastin that's been completed. Does anyone know of any completed trials? If we could findt out more it could be very helpful in presuading the hospital to include Avastin in his treatment.   

Do you know in wich countries besides the US people have been given Avastin?

As the cost of treatments are in Norway met by the public hospitals, we fortunately don't have the problem with dealing with insurance companies. However, we suspect that cost might be an issue for the hospital, all thoug it has not been said openly.