GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

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GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by AshleyFay on Tue Oct 30, 2012 05:47 PM

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hello all: My father has stage 4 pancreatic cancer with mets to his liver. He is going to begin gemzar this Friday as recommended by an oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I was wanting to hear from any one who has had experience with either GTX or Gemzar. I've read a lot of success stories with GTX and I can't say the same for Gemzar so I'm questioning whether Gemzar is the best option for my father. We were never even offered GTX. Besides the cancer my dad is otherwise healthy. I would like to hear stories of anyone who is willing to help. Thanks...

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by lucky2Bhere on Tue Oct 30, 2012 05:59 PM

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I too would be interested in anyone who can answer. AshleyFay, praying for you, your Dad and all suffering with this horrible cancer. God Bless. Candy

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by shelby1 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:51 PM

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GTX is stronger than just the Gemzar, The "new" protocol especially with mets I think is Folfirinox which is quite different and harsh. Gemzar is the least toxic and there's the option to change. GTX and GAX (even better) are used by more aggressive Oncologist because they are still considered "trial's. Won't hurt to ask the doctor why not Gemzar plus something else. New thing is also Abraxane with Gemzar, but alas-trial status. Gemzar is the "old" standard, Google GTX, GAX, Abraxane. The Folfirinox is a different type of chemo than the Gemzars, does well but can be hard on the body. Ask the doctor as he/she should have a reason for just the Gemzar. especially if this is the first time for chemo!.  

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by AshleyFay on Wed Oct 31, 2012 03:27 PM

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He had 5 sessions of Folfirinox in hopes of shrinking his tumor to be eligible for the whipple procedure. He went in for the whipple & it was then they discovered the mets & could not complete the surgery. The oncologist has now suggested Gemzar to prolong life because it's a low dose chemotherapy. I'm just scared it won't work as well as a stronger combo such as GTX and I will lose him.

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by tlbschwab on Wed Oct 31, 2012 05:34 PM

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Ashley- did the folfirinox shrink the tumor?  My mom is on that (2nd round) and she has a 5mm tumor.  I am also scared she will ask to go off the fol due to the side effects and they will put her on something less aggressive...  Sorry the whipple did not work out and I'm praying the new chemo works

Theresa

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by shelby1 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 07:31 PM

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Ask your doctor about XELOX- Xeloda plus oxaliplatin, not harsh. One day of Oxaliplatin, two weeks of PILL form xeloda.

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by AshleyFay on Thu Nov 01, 2012 06:17 AM

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On Oct 31, 2012 5:34 PM tlbschwab wrote:

Ashley- did the folfirinox shrink the tumor?  My mom is on that (2nd round) and she has a 5mm tumor.  I am also scared she will ask to go off the fol due to the side effects and they will put her on something less aggressive...  Sorry the whipple did not work out and I'm praying the new chemo works

Theresa

tlbschwab: it did shrink it some, but not significantly. My dad handled the side effects well until his 3rd session, he had diarrhea & vomitting so bad he was hospitalized for almost a week. A good way to manage the side effects is through diet. It would help your mom so much if your able to be there with her everyday & prepare her meals. Make sure she eats & drinks plenty of fluids. Keep away from sugar & fatty fried foods. I have my dad on a semi-raw vegan diet now. I recommend staying away from meat, dairy, salt, flour & sugar. But talk to your nutritionist about what's best for your mom. I just know that being there everyday for my dad helped him through chemo. Is your mom on Folfirinox in hopes of shrinking her tumor to be eligible for surgery? If so I would recommend getting a second & even third opinion. I can't even begin to explain how devastated I was when my dad went in for his whipple procedure. We thought our troubles were over & our prayers were answered only to be called into a room an hour into the procedure to be told they could not proceed with the surgery because they had discovered tumors on his liver. We got a second oponion and were told the tumors on the liver had been there for quite some time. Our local hospital where his initial CT scans were performed missed the tumors. If I were you I would seek other opinions & research every type of treatment available for your mom, natural & conventional. I wish you & your mom the best of luck & I will keep you in my prayers every night, please do the same for my father.

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by AshleyFay on Thu Nov 01, 2012 06:19 AM

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On Oct 31, 2012 7:31 PM shelby1 wrote:

Ask your doctor about XELOX- Xeloda plus oxaliplatin, not harsh. One day of Oxaliplatin, two weeks of PILL form xeloda.

Is it better then GTX??

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by maxxschiken on Thu Nov 01, 2012 09:19 AM

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On Nov 01, 2012 6:17 AM AshleyFay wrote:

On Oct 31, 2012 5:34 PM tlbschwab wrote:

Ashley- did the folfirinox shrink the tumor?  My mom is on that (2nd round) and she has a 5mm tumor.  I am also scared she will ask to go off the fol due to the side effects and they will put her on something less aggressive...  Sorry the whipple did not work out and I'm praying the new chemo works

Theresa

tlbschwab: it did shrink it some, but not significantly. My dad handled the side effects well until his 3rd session, he had diarrhea & vomitting so bad he was hospitalized for almost a week. A good way to manage the side effects is through diet. It would help your mom so much if your able to be there with her everyday & prepare her meals. Make sure she eats & drinks plenty of fluids. Keep away from sugar & fatty fried foods. I have my dad on a semi-raw vegan diet now. I recommend staying away from meat, dairy, salt, flour & sugar. But talk to your nutritionist about what's best for your mom. I just know that being there everyday for my dad helped him through chemo. Is your mom on Folfirinox in hopes of shrinking her tumor to be eligible for surgery? If so I would recommend getting a second & even third opinion. I can't even begin to explain how devastated I was when my dad went in for his whipple procedure. We thought our troubles were over & our prayers were answered only to be called into a room an hour into the procedure to be told they could not proceed with the surgery because they had discovered tumors on his liver. We got a second oponion and were told the tumors on the liver had been there for quite some time. Our local hospital where his initial CT scans were performed missed the tumors. If I were you I would seek other opinions & research every type of treatment available for your mom, natural & conventional. I wish you & your mom the best of luck & I will keep you in my prayers every night, please do the same for my father.

I'm really sorry your Dad had to go thru surgery only to discover he had mets to his liver.  I was always under the impression there were specific tests conducted prior to a major surgical procedure like the whipple to determine if the cancer has or has not metastisized to other areas of the body, specifically the liver.  I'm almost positive it was a PETscan that detected my wife had two very small less than 1cm spots on her liver that were detected at diagnosis.  Honestly, I'm not sure how my wife would have tolerated starting Folfirinox immediately after diagnosis had she been operated on.  Any kind of surgery usually takes a significant amount of time to recover before starting any kind of chemotherapy.  Hope your Dad was able to recover soon enough to begin treatment.   

RE: GTX vs Gemzar Chemotherapy

by tlbschwab on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:55 PM

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She had her 2nd opinion from Johns Hopkins.  At that time it was localized to the pancreatic head but has artery encasement (75%).  They want to shrink then evaluate for IMRT or stereotactic therapy.  Of course this is all how the tumor reacts.  It is a long shot, but if it shrinks away then they would reconsider surgery.  She is doing her chemo local but JHH will do everything else if it works out.  Her local oncologist just removed one of the drugs from the folfirinox mix to help with her side effects, so hopefully that will help and she can still get the benefit of the chemo.  She is really not interested in eating anything, just oatmeal, grits, and random other foods that have no taste.  My sister stays with her in the day so I'll suggest to her maybe changing her diet a bit. I will keep you and your father both in my prayers!

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