But whether that's good or bad isn't yet clear
by Furyprod on Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:00 AM
by Witchdoctor on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM
by Weadocm on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM
anything with the liver...go to the best...call him or email him....dr. david geller the head of the liver cancer center at the university of pittsburgh. tell him michelle sent you...he has helped numerous folks from this board when all anyone else said was 'no hope.'
YOU NEED TO KEEP HOPE>>>>>>
by Redriots12 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM
I think you found this message dated 12/28 06. FYI
Subject: RE: Sir Spheres and Insurance CoverageDate: 12/28/2006
Hi! I, too, have stage IV colon cancer. I had innumerable tumors in both lobes of my liver. They seemed to be advancing every day and there were literally no other options. My physician had suggested hospice when a friend told me about the procedure. I have had 65% reduction in tumors and complete stability in the liver ever since (Jan, 2005). I'm alive today because of sir-spheres. My insurance denied the procedure twice even with mediation. We were lucky that my husband's company changed insurance and I was able to receive the procedure with that change. Sirtex has a department that will help work with your insurance company and I'd be happy to put you in touch with the correct person if you'd like to contact me off-list. Don't give up on the process. It can be very frustrating sometimes but I can tell you that my experience was very much worth the hassle.
by Furyprod on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM
On 3/28/2007 Redriots12 wrote:My husband had SIR spheres treatment done Feb. 28. He had multiple tumors in both lobes, chemoembolization was not considered a good option, RFA due to the number of tumors was not an option. He went through FOLFOX plus Avastin plus Vectibix, stopped Vectibix due to rash after 9 rounds, stopped oxaliplatin after 12 rounds due to neuropathy. 5FU and Avastin stopped working after about 9months (last September) Erbitux and Irinotecan(cpt 11) never really seemed to work. The CT scan in Jan 07 showed the tumors in his liver were starting to grow. So, like you, we felt action had to be taken. He will have a followup PET scan April 10 so I can't tell you his results but the results from research show a much higher percentage of response than treatment with chemo at this stage. Close to 90% stable /no progression or reduction in tumors. (I don't have the exact stats in front of me for those 2 categories). We only had 2 options for treatment - clinical trials or SIR spheres. He had about 50% of his liver involved with tumors so was right on the edge for acceptance but his liver function was the best they had seen so he was the 15th person treated at Mass General in Boston, received the highest dosage of radiation they had given. The theory behind SIR treatment makes sense - they go through the femoral artery right to the hepatic artery to zap the tumors. The liver is an unusual organ - tumors feed off the hepatic artery, healthy liver feeds of another blood vessel . This is also why hepatic artery pump works. SIR spheres are attracted to the higher rate of blood flow which is how blood flows to rapidly growing cancer cells. There are many qualifying tests that are done before the procedure is even done to determine many factors including the individualized calculated radiation dose you will receive. The threat to the healthy liver is incredibly minimal - one radiologist told me systemic chemo destroys healthy as well as tumor liver cells. The biggest side effect of SIR is fatigue which usually subsides after the first week or two. You start taking Prilosec before treatment. One week before the SIR treatment is done, an angiogram is done to map out your arteries, another scan is done using milk albumin which mimics the SIR treatment. SIR (selective internal radiation) is commonly done in Texas and the midwest, does not seem to be done as frequently in the Northeast. I say GO FOR IT! Your disease has to be predominantly in the liver to qualify for treatment. They did treat both lobes of my husbands liver at the same time. The interventional radiologist who did the procedure - Dr. Sanjeeva Kalva - was wonderful. Another procedure that is being done at NIH and now at the University of Pittsburgh is "isolated liver perfusion" - my husband did not qualify for that due to a filter that was placed in his inferior vena cavae to block clots. You must also have predominantly liver disease for that. Do not lose hope - new technololgy is happening everywhere. Good luck, if your insurance will not cover SIR treatment, fight for it - we filed appeals, etc and did get coverage. The SIR people have a person whose job is to help people get coverage - she was great. Sorry to ramble, but I understand where you are coming from and the urgency for you to get treatment. How old are you? My husband is now 49, diagnosed at 47. Hang in there and keep fighting.
by Redriots12 on Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:00 AM
The following is an e-mail that was posted on the Y90 (SIR spheres) e-mail support group. Thought you may be interested.
by Suzannecca on Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:00 AM
Hi! Sir-spheres worked like magic for me! I really had no other options when I learned about the treatment and my liver tumors were growing out of control. Chemo had stopped working and my time was running short. I had the procedure in January, 2005 with 65% shrinkage of liver tumors and complete stability since. It is normally an outpatient procedure with a few necessary precautions afterward. There is very little pain involved, though I experienced some slight cramping and about a week of fatigue. Compared to chemo, it was a breeze!!!!
I belong to a Sir-spheres support group that has a list-serv much like this where you can ask questions and speak with other survivors. You can reach it at www.y90support.org.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Good luck and hang in there, Suzanne
by Pattyponyplay on Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:00 AM
After colon surgrey, 2&1/2 years of chemo, and an attempt at clinical trials for drugs not approved by the F.D.A,- [He was turned down because of an elevated billyrurben count,]
My husband and I looked into sir spheres.We talked to Dr Nutting in Denver, and he is very positive. Everything I have read about sir spheres sounds good. The treatment shrinks tumors with less side effects than chemo . The test treatment, was done last Thursday, and my husband tolerated it well. When the radioactive spheres go in, July 10th, they will add medication to his I.V. to prevent possible side effects. Because your liver function is good, you should start talking to your insurance company now. Our dr. had to talk to ours and it took weeks to get approved.
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