MBC and ibrance: Hi all, I am from Hong... - SHARE Metastatic ...

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MBC and ibrance


Hi all, I am from Hong Kong. First diagnosis was in 2015 stage3. 10 days ago I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, liver and spine. Sizes were not major. My oncologist suggested either Chemo or ibrance plus Letrozole. I personally prefer ibrance+L but worry if this is as strong as chemo injection. Anyone has experience?

14 Replies

Hello, I've read many stories of Ibrance + Letrozole being effective for numerous women. In my case it did not work, as the cancer ILC kept spreading in bones and liver. But my cancer also spread during initial chemo. Thankfully Xeloda is now working for me.

But the question about strength of the treatment - Ibrance + Letrozole or chemo - is not the question to be asking. Ibrance is used to treat hormonal based cancers. It attaches to the hormone receptors in the cells, disrupting the replication of DNA - this is a lay understanding. It is a good drug to try, and it works for many. If it doesn't work for you, you'll be switched to chemo soon enough.

Sheung in reply to SusanDB

Thanks so much for your advice. And happy that xeloda is working for you.

I have taken Ibrance and "L" (Femara) for 7 months for breast cancer that started in my lymph nodes. It has worked by reducing the tumors and there is no further cancer growth. I also have a monthly shot of Lupron. You need that if your cancer feeds on estrogen. I also have a shot of Xgeva for my bone mets. I would suggest trying the ibrance and "L" first.

Sheung in reply to sweeetk

Thanks sweeetk. I had liver biopsy and now waiting for the results. Yes, if my cancer is still the same type as 5.5 years ago, I would like to try ibrance + L. Then I can avoid chemo this time.

I am on ibrance and letrozole since Jan 2016. Very little side effects. It has been a great drug for me.

Sheung in reply to Tap321

Happy for you.

Tap321 in reply to Sheung

There are 79 women and 1man on same regimen with my oncologist. All of us are doing great. Ibrance is an amazing drug!!!!!

Those of us with an estrogen receptor positive bc usually have better results with drugs like letrozole that interfere with that hormonal process, than with chemo. It's not a matter of the "strength" of the medication but more how it works with the particular type of cancer cells we are dealing with. I was diagnosed at stage IV in 2004, before drugs like Ibrance or Afinitor were available. I got almost five years from letrozole, along with Zometa for the bones. Sometimes oncs will suggest chemo for those of us with an estrogen receptor positive mbc when an organ is threatened as chemo often produces results more quickly than the hormonal drugs do. If your liver function is okay, that wouldn't be the case for you. Good luck to you. I hope you do well for a long long time!

Sheung in reply to PJBinMI

Many thanks PJBinMi. Hope the liver biopsy shows no change in cancer cells then I can go on ibrance.

Happy to know Letrozole and Zometa works for you. I am also on those medications now.


I had stage 3, in 2010, and it returned as bone mets in 2015 I was put on Ibrance and Letrozole, and got an Xgeva shot once per month to strengthen my bones. I had great success, with that treatment, and very little side effects. I would chose that over chemo anyday. If I were you, I would try these chemo pills and see if they work for you before going to a chemo drip.

Stay positive.........Suze

Sheung in reply to suzesunshine

Hi Suzeunshine

How often and what sort of scan do you do to monitor the mets?

I might start ibrance tomorrow. Hope it works for me.


I get scans every 3 to 6 months, depending if my tumor markers go up or not. But that's not a true indication, in my case. Mine have gone up, and there is no more activity but my doctor is very cautious. He wants to be proactive, which is good.

Stay positive. I believe the Ibrance will work for you. I know it's been very successful with alot of patients. Take care.

I had both with a bone building injection called Xgeva. I feel that the Ibrance was not as hard physical side effects but it was very hard physiologicaly. I was under constant supervision with weekly blood draws for CBC as it weakened my immune system especially my ANC and WBC. I had fatigue but really nothing else. Overall it was the never ending concern of infection an illness since it was hard to determine when my counts were low. After a year I am back on chemo drug Xeloda. My counts are actually better on this but the fatigue is greater and I have hand foot syndrome. More so foot that somedays tha makes it very tough for walking.

Weigh your options with acceptable side effects and how you might be able to cope with them in your daily activities and the life you want to live as well as if the dosages can be adjusted to help with the side effects. I have been stage IV since first diagnosis 10 years now. You will make the right decision and if you do not believe it's right for you after adjustments you can always move on to the other choice. You do want to stay on each drug the longest time possible. At stage IV you will be on a medication to help until it fails then you will move on to another. This is why you want to try to stay on as long as possible.

I wish you the best of luck and many years of good health and no evidence I'd disease, NED.

I have been on I&L for a year, my marker #s have decreased from 210 to 60 (normal is 0-60 I think). So, for me, it has worked, I am getting better. I assume it is the combo. I have been told I was lucky to be able to do this instead of traditional chemo as traditional chemo is very difficult on your body. I imagine you have made that decision by now, how is it going for you? My very best to you.

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