Sir Spheres anyone had it?

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Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Furyprod on Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:00 AM

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Has anyone had success with Sir Spheres? SK sent me home with no hope after 18 months of chemo. I am now resistant to chemo and do not think a Chemo Embolization will work 50% chance.....Looking into Sir Spheres, for my cancer - left lobe filled with a 10cm tumor and right lobe has a lemon, a few quarters and dime size tumors. Liver function is good. Does Sir Spheres work? Can it stop growth and shrink tumors so they are dead? Is the procedure painful, and side effects awful? I need to get something done by first or second week of April 07 as my tumors are growing fast.

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Witchdoctor on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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Is your tumor only in the liver?  Then one option would be whole liver irradiation plus chemo and then boosting the large areas with external beam or Cyberknife.  After this you could also embolize or radiofrequency ablate the tumors as well.

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Weadocm on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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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>>>>>>

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Redriots12 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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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.

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Redriots12 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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I think you found this message dated 12/28 06. FYI

Subject: RE: Sir Spheres and Insurance Coverage
Date: 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.

 Good luck!! 

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Furyprod on Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:00 AM

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I am 51. SIRT sounds good, but I still can't find any stats that are good as far as response rate. I found 20%, but then a Dr. told me it was more than 35%, or even more than 50%. Does anyone know how well SIRT works? It seems that large tumors don't matter, it still works on them. I do not have any other choice, since my tumors are not vascular enough for embolization, and I have too many for RFA. On March 10th my left lobe had a 10cm tumor, but now it is March 29th and I can feel my upper ab is much larger. My doctor told me today, I most likely have tumor progression weekly. I must do something ASAP, but it seems I still have to wait a week from the angiogram, till getting SIRT.

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.

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Redriots12 on Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:00 AM

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Have you found a center close to you that administers SIRT treatment? If not, go to www.sirtex.com and  there will be a list of all centers that are qualified to administer SIR spheres.  You will need to schedule a consult, then the angiogram appointment, and have a PET/CT scan done before SIR treatment can be done. Good luck, the response rate seems to vary depending on the individual, it is not a number cast in stone. I guess I would be asking do I have anything to lose by trying to have this treatment done?  Keep your spirits up, keep fighting, keep researching, have faith.

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Redriots12 on Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:00 AM

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The following is an e-mail that was posted on the Y90 (SIR spheres) e-mail support group. Thought you may be interested.

From : Tina Schaeffer <schaeffersfugue@rediffmail.com>
Reply-To : "Y90 Education and Support for those thinking about or surviving after Y90 therapy." <yes@discussthis.com>
Sent : Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:50 PM
To : "Y90 Education and Support for those thinking about or surviving after Y90 therapy." <yes@discussthis.com>
Subject : Re :[yes] Hi, I am new here
|||Inbox
Dear Mary,

My story isn't anything as exciting or amazing as either Lois and Dicks or Suzannes but I like to think that I am one of the Y90 miracles, too.  Our number seems to be growing. I am 49 years old and was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer three years ago. I was lucky to be able to have a liver resection and was declared cancer free.  Like you, I thought I was done with cancer. I didn't have follow up chemo. Six months later three lesions showed back up and I had RFA.  From that point forward liver tumors have been controlling my life. I was chemoed out when someone suggested Y90.  So far, my tumors have continued to shrink since my last treatment in November. I don't know how long the shrinking will last but I know that it is a great feeling right now.  I had very easy treatments with slight fever for a few days afterwards. My biggest problem was fatigue but then Larry, who you might hear from, suggested that I ask my doctor for Ritalin.  It was like an instant cure and I have been going non-stop since.  I have said this before but it bears repeating.  There is no comparison to the months of chemo before Y90.  My chemo side effects were horrible and I had little or no results. Therasphere, in my case, have been little magic beads. Go for it!

Good luck,
Tina   

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Suzannecca on Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:00 AM

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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

RE: Sir Spheres anyone had it?

by Pattyponyplay on Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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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.

Good luck!

Patty

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