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My Mom's CA-125 has risen after first Chemo

Hi all, my mom received her first cycle of Carbo/Taxol for her recurrence on February 23rd. She had her CA-125 checked a week later (March 2nd), and the results show that her numbers are still going up. This is very distressing as I'm so afraid the chemo isn't working and/or that the doctors will stop treatment prematurely.

Her numbers rose crazy high in a short period of time going from 97 (Nov. 30th) to 1,068 (Jan 11th), and now 5,092 (Mar. 2nd). And so far without any physical symptoms so far (thankfully). Her most recent scan just showed enlarged lymph nodes, and possibly some ascites fluid by her abdominal hernia.

Has anyone here had their numbers go up initially on this particular chemo combo before going down? I know with some others like Caelyx that seems more common. My mom was platinum sensitive before, with her CA-125 dropping down to a low of 3 after her first line chemo, and that was over 2 years ago, so on paper at least, Carboplatin should work again for her.

Thanks,

Michael

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As you say, on paper at least carbo should work as she’s platinum sensitive. A week maybe is insufficient time to allow the drugs to do their work so there’s may well be a better response after another couple of cycles.

If it does turn out that it isn’t working her team will doubtless try something else.

Best wishes to you both!

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Some people have really big jumps in ca125 which is completely scary. My mum also has huge jumps in the marker but if she is relatively symptomless then that is a good sign. One thing I have seen is that there's bound to be another drug if the first one doesn't work. Hope everything works out for her :)

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Yes - my CA125 spiked after my first carbo/taxol dose. I was told it was a fairly common occurence after the first one. After that there was a steady decrease, so all good.

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Apparently, it has to do with tumor lysis. It happened to me on BEP. The first round my AFP went from 3500 to 7500. But after the second it was 550.

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Thanks for all the replies. I've relaxed a bit since posting this, though the "what ifs" keep going through my head. I am relieved to hear others that had their numbers go up before coming down. I also read that the cancer cells dying could spike the number temporarily before dropping off.

I didn't even feel it was necessary to have my mom have a CA-125 checked weekly when she's getting chemo every 3 weeks. Just means 2 extra trips to the hospital for something that could easily just be checked every 3 weeks instead.

I'll keep everyone updated. Thanks again.

-Michael

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