How quickly does Avastin work?

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How quickly does Avastin work?

by jehmil on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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My husband is about to get his first Avastin treatment for his brain tumor (GBM). I am wondering how quickly we can expect some results. He is currently suffering from significant swelling/edema as a result of the 6 week radiation & Temodar, and steroids are no longer working. I'm worried I'm putting all my eggs in the Avastin basket & expecting too much from this drug.

Thank you for any information. 

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by nancya on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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My husband started Avastin (with CPT-11) in September and after 4 infusions the MRI showed shrinkage.  He had been on the 5/23 Temodar for 9 months but then there was a small enhancement so the chemo was switched.  Next week he goes in for his 8th infusion and then another MRI after that, well see if it's still doing it's job.

I'm not sure what's typical though.

Best wishes to you all.

 

 ** husband dx GBM 8/07, surgery, rad/Temodar, 5/23 Temodar (x9), currently on Avastin/CPT-11

 

 

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by jackiekay on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Avastin has a "steroid-like effect" on the brain as it reduces swelling so your husband may feel some relief quickly.  My husband was on avastin/cpt-11, but the treatment was hard on him because he developed a severe migraine that would not go away.  Others seems to function very well on it.  The doctor has taken him off of it because he has had no regrowth and he feels it is not worth the risk for him right now.  If he has future growth he may need it then and have to tough it out.  I hope your husband gets very good results from the avastin.  Is he taking avastin only or are they combining it with chemo?  I think the avastin/chemo combo is probably harder to tolerate than just avastin.

 Best wishes,

Jackiekay

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by jehmil on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Did your husband have many symptoms when he started? Mine is already suffering from major weakness, poor motor control, and speech issues. I was hoping for some immediate relief when he starts. I'm having trouble finding information on it online.

Thanks.

 

 

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by jehmil on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Yes, it will be Avastin/chemo combo - he's already started the 5/23 process. He tolerated the Temodar well before so hopefully that will continue. 

Thanks.

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by moms_caregiver on Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 12/17/2008 jehmil wrote:

My husband is about to get his first Avastin treatment for his brain tumor (GBM). I am wondering how quickly we can expect some results. He is currently suffering from significant swelling/edema as a result of the 6 week radiation & Temodar, and steroids are no longer working. I'm worried I'm putting all my eggs in the Avastin basket & expecting too much from this drug.

Thank you for any information. 


Hi Jehmil, Treatment for everyone seems to be different, but Avastin, I feel was what gave my mother her best days. I hope it does well for your husband. Best of luck, Maria

 

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by VA_Husband on Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:00 AM

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HI:

 My wife has been on Avastin (only-no added chemo) for almost 1 year now. At the time she started it she had no visible cancer (GBM was resected 100%) and today she still had clean scan. I have heard Avastin works very fast when it is effective on active tumors.

 The drug works by identifying blood vessels that supply the tumor, and only those. It kills off the blood vessels starving the tumor of nutrients needed to grow. My wife;s GBM returned almost immediately after radiation and Temodar. THe Avastin, as someone else noted below also has an anti-swelling effect which allows reduction or ceasation of the Steroids. My wife went completely off the steroids when she started the Avastin. For us, this was a miricle med (not perfect, lots of fatigue, some stomach upset, apitite, etc) but tollerable. She is planning to go back to full time work in a few months.

While everyone responds differently, the medicine appears to work. There are so many other things being developed that we hope someday it will not be so complex and diffiult to beat this. The vaccine DC_VAX is being tested on human trials right now.

I hope the Avastin works well for you. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Chuck

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by jackiekay on Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:00 AM

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Jehmil

Yes, my husband had a lot of deficits when he started.  In some ways he seemed better on treatment and others worse.  Physically, he became a lot weaker, but mentally he seemed a lot clearer.  Everyone seems to react very differently.

Jackiekay

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by penny45 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 12/18/2008 jackiekay wrote:

Jehmil

Yes, my husband had a lot of deficits when he started.  In some ways he seemed better on treatment and others worse.  Physically, he became a lot weaker, but mentally he seemed a lot clearer.  Everyone seems to react very differently.

Jackiekay


Jehmil,

 Nothing worked for my mom (not the surgery, the temodar, the radiation, etc) until she started on Avastin/VP-16 combo.  We saw the greatest results in the first 4 weeks.   The VP-16 (chemo) takes a toll on her -- we quite frequently talk about going off the VP-16 because when she is off, she enjoys life much more. But, then we balance that against the results -- the combo seems to be shrinking the tumors-- and we convince ourselves to just gut it out for the next 7 months (she is scheduled for a one year program of Avastin/VP-16 and we have completed 5 mnths).  We just suffered a major setback -- she had a seizure that knocked her out for several days.  But, the MRI shows it is not the cancer so that is encouraging and the docs all seem to think it is working.  Since nothing else did, I view it as a miracle drug.  Good Luck, and God Bless,

penny

RE: How quickly does Avastin work?

by stmtoo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:00 AM

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On 12/20/2008 penny45 wrote:

 

On 12/18/2008 jackiekay wrote:

Jehmil

Yes, my husband had a lot of deficits when he started.  In some ways he seemed better on treatment and others worse.  Physically, he became a lot weaker, but mentally he seemed a lot clearer.  Everyone seems to react very differently.

Jackiekay


Jehmil,

 Nothing worked for my mom (not the surgery, the temodar, the radiation, etc) until she started on Avastin/VP-16 combo.  We saw the greatest results in the first 4 weeks.   The VP-16 (chemo) takes a toll on her -- we quite frequently talk about going off the VP-16 because when she is off, she enjoys life much more. But, then we balance that against the results -- the combo seems to be shrinking the tumors-- and we convince ourselves to just gut it out for the next 7 months (she is scheduled for a one year program of Avastin/VP-16 and we have completed 5 mnths).  We just suffered a major setback -- she had a seizure that knocked her out for several days.  But, the MRI shows it is not the cancer so that is encouraging and the docs all seem to think it is working.  Since nothing else did, I view it as a miracle drug.  Good Luck, and God Bless,

penny

Penny,

 My father is going to start an Avastin/VP16 treatment as well and I was wondering what side effects you have noticed.  He was diagnosed with an AA level 3 in July of '08.  He was on an Avastin/Temodar treatment, but, after initial success, has had a few setbacks, as well as in increase in his blood sugar levels.  The last MRI showed no initial growth, but more swelling.   Has this combo worked?  Are there major side effects we should be aware of?  Thank you for any information you can give.

 Steve

 

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