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Alternatives when Chemo Fails??

12 years 9 months ago #3214 by silvercat2
Hi, again!

When I'm talking Ph, it can be tested by urine or saliva.  There are various opinions on Ph, but overall it means eating lots of vegetables in proportion to other foods, getting adeuqate minerals (like calcium, magnesium, etc.) and combining foods in certain ways.  I know when we are in the best range, we do feel better.

I am reviewing various clinical trials now.  It is hard to know which direction to go.  he is on blood thinners now so I don't think he can have the Avastin you mentioned.  We will get some consults in the next few weeks and go from there.  Thanks for your support.

Anne

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12 years 9 months ago #3196 by wendy
Hi,
I'm sorry to hear about your husband's recurrence. He is too young for this, but I'm sure his youth is in his favor.

When G/C fails, most oncologists (and MSK, I'm pretty sure) will recommend MVAC, a 4-chemo cocktail, which is the historical standard for advanced bladder cancer. These days cutting edge doctors are throwing an anti-angiogenesis drug in the mix, most often Avastin --although there are a number of other drugs in this class also being tried for kidney cancer. Avastin is approved for colon cancer. The trick is getting insurance to cover it for off-label use.

Since the drug is in clinical trials for blc (along with Gemzar/Cisplatin) it might be possible to get it off-label.

Hyperthermia is considered alternative and is hard to get in the US.

There are no 'proven' alternatives that work for advanced blc and studies up till this point all say more research is needed. It's been shown that diet can help prevent cancer but not cure it, also vitamins are best got from the foods instead of the pills according even to Dr. Lamm who invented a vitamin for bladder cancer (oncovite - http://blcwebcafe.org/oncovite.asp ).

When you say you're aiming for alkaline pH, do you mean blood or urine?

Melatonin is an interesting alternative treatment, I wish there were more studies (or any studies) of its use in bladder cancer...it's been shown to be of use with breast cancer...as has Tamoxifen, also a hormonal modulator. Tamoxifen is being studied for advanced blc, there has been research out of Japan on the subject and it seems to have some usefulness.

When I have done research about cutting edge stuff I either use Pub Med or CAM
Pub MEd for alternatives:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed
http://nccam.nih.gov/camonpubmed/ ("the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) subset of PubMed").

I checked the NCI clinical trial database, typed in bladder cancer stage IV and saw a number of other chemos being tried and a few anti-angiogenesis drugs aside from Avastin. There's simply more data on MVAC than any other chemo cocktail...

I wish you and your husband all the best, and please keep up posted.
Wendy

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12 years 9 months ago #3192 by silvercat2
Hi, Rosemary!

Thanks for responding so soon. We actually have worked with a naturopath through this whole thing. My husband has been on melatonin, green tea, vitamins, cal-mag powder, red clover stillingia, coriolus, etc. as well as some homeopathic remedies. He has also stressed getting him to an alkaline ph, which finally happened today. We haven't tried to Essiac tea and garlic yet, so certainly that wouldn't hurt!! I think the natural treatments helped him weather the chemo better than he would have. Some authors suggest foreign clinics; I was also looking at some here in the U.S. It seems hypothermia looks very promising in Europe, but is not used very often here. I have read so much information on treatment options these past few days my mind is spinning! Our current oncologist has only one option, and it is not very effective. We are going to Sloan-Kettering on 1/22, but I am not sure what we will hear. I just wish I could talk to someone whose actually been to some of the clinics and hear how things went for them.

Thanks for listening, I know we have to stay positive and continue to use the days we do have together. Take care!!

Anne

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12 years 9 months ago #3191 by Rosemary
Dear Silver,

Here is a site with the National Cancer Institute that lists alternative/complimentary medicines.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/cam

If it were my husband, I think I would at least try the Essiac Tea and Garlic.  The liquid Essiac is the most pallatable.  Aged Garlic is what is recommended.  I might also serve him a few cups of green tea everyday (if he will drink it).

My naturopath has mentioned Mistletoe Extract as an extreme remedy, but I believe that it is only available in Europe in the injectible form, though I'm not sure why the US has not approved it.

I'm not certain that these suggestions will help, but they certainly can't hurt.

I would also take a look at the website and get some ideas about what's been going around.  Study up and make up your own minds about the methods.

Good, good luck!  I hope you will keep us posted.

Very best wishes,
Rosemary

Rosemary
Age - 55
T1 G3 - Tumor free 2 yrs 3 months
Dx January 2006

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12 years 9 months ago #3190 by silvercat2
Hi, I am new here. My husband has Stage IV, although it has been a strange course. His tumor was a grade 3, first found in 8/05. Docs kept his bladder cancer free with BCG, only to find the surrounding nodes inflamed with cancer in 8/06. After six months of cisplatin/gemzar, that reduced the tumors for four months, it is now growing again. He is only 51 and walking around big as life!! We are looking into alternative treatments every direction. Does anyone know of alternatives that really worked to at least give him more time? I am reading everything I can find from conventional to alternatives. I just want to know we did all we could with God's help!! Thanks for anything you can share.

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