1 (edited by gk Mon, 14 Jul 2008 09:55:02)

Topic: Is gemcitibine any good?

Hi, All--

My father was diagnosed with CC in December 2007. He had a failed operation at Sloan-Kettering in March, and has since been undergoing chemo with gemcitibine alone (1/week for 7 wks). After his 7 weeks, the oncologist enthusiastically informed us that his tumor had only grown by 10-15% during this time. The research I have done online suggests that gemcitibine alone is not a very effective treatment. So my question is this: Isn't chemo supposed to stop the growth or decrease the size of the tumor? It seems that perhaps we should be pushing for something more aggressive. He is 78, healthy, and tolerated the gemcitibine very well. I just want him to be able to take advantage of whatever therapies are out there, and gemcitibine doesn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the drawer.

Thanks for listening. I would be truly grateful for any input you might be able to provide.

Re: Is gemcitibine any good?

That's a hard one to answer because everyone reacts so differently.  My husband Charlie, age 52 diagnosed in 5/07 had 14 weeks of gemcitabine last summer.  He did well about the first half of it, but as the effects kept building up, he got more and more worn down from it and by the end, he was extremely tired and miserable.  After a scan, we were told the tumors hadn't shrunk any, but had not grown.  It does seem that I'm seeing more about combination Gemzar with other drugs.  I would have been concerned if, after 7 weeks, they said it had grown because of course we want it to go the other way.  I would say to get a 2nd opinion if your Dad agrees.  Some people have good results with Gemzar, but Charlie wasn't one of them.  Hope this helps.


Re: Is gemcitibine any good?

My dad (77) has just begun a chemo regimen of Xeloda, supposed to be most effective when used in combination with radiation (he had therasphere treatment in February). Good luck.

Re: Is gemcitibine any good?

Hi gk,

I've been having Gemcitabine and Carboplatin for nearly two years.  It hasn't shrunken the tumors (maybe) but the tumors have not grown much. I've tolerated the regimen fairly well.  So, in my mind,  it's been a successful treatment.

Perhaps you can get a second opinion from a different oncologist from an outside group as to what would be a good treatment for your dad.


Re: Is gemcitibine any good?

Many thanks for your feedback. It's incredibly helpful and encouraging to me. I feel so lucky to have found this site.

I will definitely take your advice about seeking multiple opinions on whether gemzar is the way to go.

In the meantime, my dad has an appointment tomorrow to see if he is a candidate for CyberKnife radiosurgery. I don't know much about this treatment (something about a robotic arm?!) but it sounds like a promising option.

Again, I so appreciate all your thoughts and guidance.