Chemo

I note with interest the welcome editorial in the Summer Newsletter and in particular reference to the comments made by Dr Richard Osborne consultant oncologist from the Dorset Cancer centre with reference to tailored treatment plans rather than a one approach suits all strategy.

I wonder why other health authorities do not adopt this treatment plan, instead of a bog standard cycle for all. It would appear that necessary adjustments tothe chemo ie reduction in dose, are only made, where the patient has endured exceptionally bad side effects.

For myself, I have yet to start chemo, but have been told that the Carboplatin dose is decided according to my kidney function.Therefore as my kidney function is good I have a larger dose!! Also with regards to the Paclitaxel chemo, that dose is decided in accordance with my height. As I am quite tall, for once in my life, wish to be smaller.

All quite perplexing really, would be interested in others thoughts on this x

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  • All I can add is that for third line chemo which I started in April of this year, that I did have a kidney function test for the first time and was told this was so they could work out the dose of Carboplatin. I was a bit perturbed at having the kidney test function as it meant having a radioactive injection, followed up by two blood samples being taken several hours apart. As it was new to me, I was apprehensive but the nurses told me that it was a routine test that they did for anyone having a kidney transplant. Somehow that made it better.

    I hope this helps Wendy x

  • I had the kidney function test before starting first line carbo/taxel and, while it was a bit time-consuming, it was really straightforward and painless (I also had to fit a CT scan in between the kidney function measurements (two hours apart), which helped to pass the time! As far as I know, the chemo foes is based on your weight as much as your height. At various times during chemo my dose levels have been varied (eg less taxel when I started showing symptoms of neuropathy and a larger dose of carbo to finish with because my bone marrow was suffering a bit -I was having weekly chemo.) Good luck with the chemo - I found it all much better than I expected, although I'd like my hair back!

  • I had a renal test prior to both 1st and 2nd line chemo. As far as I'm aware chemo is worked out on this, blood results, weight and how you cope with it so taylor made really. Hope it all goes well For you!

    Love Wendy xxx

  • Hi, I thought that anyone having carbo-platin has a kidney function test to see how much their body can process. I had the same thought as you Jackie, as to whether I actually needed six cycles of chemotherapy if 3 would do the trick but was just told that on average they'd agreed that the majority of patients benefited from the full six cycles.

    I had the feeling that targeted therapies relates more to some of the new research being carried out on immunology and the newer drugs such as the PARP inhibitors rather than questioning how much chemotherapy we should have. The Ovacome newsletter certainly gives ground for hope that they are breaking new ground all the time and it makes me think it's worth keeping an eye out as to which centres have trials running in order to access these experimental treatments.

    Just think, one day everyone will look back to the days of chemo and think how barbaric it is but at least it's better managed than it was in the previous generations. x Annie

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