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treatment decision

12 years 2 months ago #7583 by wendy
I'm sorry to hear about the difficult decisions and choices you are faced with.

Phase I trials are extremely experiemental. For you to make a truly informed decision you should know what has been found so far with the people who have taken the treatment till this point. There is more info about questions concerning trials to be found on WebCafe's main site here:
http://blcwebcafe.org/clinicaltrials.asp An excerpt:
"Phase I
This is the riskiest as well as the most important step of drug development, due to the fact that although the treatment has been studied in laboratory animals, most times it has yet to be tried on people. Phase1 trials test the treatment on a small patient population who have failed standard therapies. Primary goals of phase I trials are determining
-anticancer activity of the treatment
-the manner in which the drug works in the body
-effective dosages, toxic side effects and the management of these
A phase I study starts by giving a very low dose of the drug, then the dose is slowly increased as new patients enter the trial. The dose can be increased by giving more at one time or by giving the same dose more often."

There is more info on that page that might be informative.

Herceptin and Taxol both have side effects, Taxol being a chemo, and Herceptin a targeted therapy for those with elevated HER2 oncogene. These are both investigational,too, so I wonder why you aren't being offered a phase II or III trial for someone in your situation (seeking second line treatment, preferably something close to home), I'm sure they must exist too, at least I would think so.

I wish you and your family wisdom and strength with this tough decision.
Wendy

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12 years 2 months ago #7474 by Renee
Hans,
It is indeed difficult to make these decisions. Did the cancer spread to both lungs? If the cancer spread to the lungs, it means the chemo wasn't able to slow the spreading down. With metastasis to the lungs you may get fluid in the lungs that cause breathing problems. Therefore driving 9 hours may become difficult. My husband, also Hans, had metastasis to the lungs. In his case the spreading went very rapidly, it may go slower in your case. Nevertheless it takes a lot of energy to deal with cancer, finding treatments, going through treatments, the stress of coping etc. And very often there is very little time left for "living". I know you like to fight the cancer, but there is a great amount of healing in accepting one's fate and enjoying every minute of your life. I suggest you read "End of Life Issues", especially the part on considerations. You will find it on this website under Treatment Options and then go to Metastatic Cancer.
My hart goes out to you and your family and I wish you strength.
Renee
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12 years 2 months ago #7469 by Hans
I have bladder ca with mets to the lungs. i've had my bladder out last july and went through chemo of cystplantin and gemzar which ended in april. my pet/ct scan in may showed that my ca has spead to my lungs. now we are trying to make the dission of standard treatment of chemo of taxol with herceptin or trial med. a phase 1 trial has been offered to us ,which would require us to drive 9 hours and stay at the center for 5 days every 2 weeks. we are having a hard time deciding on treatment . any sugestions
Hans

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