Thursday, September 4, 2008

Treatment Update

Today is the last day of whole-brain radiation treatment (ten sessions total). I start on a new round of chemotherapy tomorrow. The new drugs will be Avastin and Ixempra. This will be the ninth chemo regimen we're trying this year. I wonder if that's a record?

Avastin (Bevacizumab) is targetted therapy. It targets the cancer cells and leaves the healthy cells alone. It works by preventing the cancer cells from forming their own blood vessels, which they need to feed themselves.

Ixempra (Ixabepilone) is chemotherapy in the traditional sense, so it targets any fast-growing cells, healthy as well as cancer. This drug slows or prevents the growth of tumors by preventing cell division.

I'll be the second patient my doctor has tried this drug combination on, so it's a bit experimental. If anyone else out there has tried these two drugs together and can share some information on the experience, please do.

And just in case there's collective wisdom out there on the other drugs I'm currently on, here's my list:

Codeine Phosphate

This doesn't include the nutritional supplements I also take each day.

Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shin -
Congrats on completing your RADS!!!!I start whole brain radiation (wbr) tomorrow. I'm triple negative too. My doctor discussed Xempra with me but hasn't tried it yet. I hope you do well with the Avastin too! I stopped the Xeloda so that I could do the wbr; he says that when I finish the rads he'll start me back on Xeloda. Keep up the good work and kick so cancer butt! God is able, stephanie

Shin said...

Hi Stephanie.

Actually, I'm NOT triple negative (ER, PR, HER2). I'm ER and PR negative and HER2 positive. That's why this drug combo is a bit experimental - it's been approved for triple negative patients, not for me. We'll see how it goes...

If you go back on Xeloda and get Hand-Foot Syndrome, try the natural henna remedy I talked about earlier this week. It really worked wonders for my feet!

Good luck to you with your treatment. Sounds to me like you've got attitude that'll take you a long way.

Peter said...

Am familliar with the angiostatic strategies such as avastin. Avastin will be the biggest drug in the world in a few short years - it is the reason Roche is buying Genentech. Good stuff. My neighbor (a PhD MBA and co-owner of a soon to be slowly bubbling massive oak barrel of cabernet) is in the strategy group at Genentech on the Avastin line. I can likely get answers to any and all questions you have if you have any. Fingers and toes are crossed for you here in SF amiga. Peter

yvonne said...

Dear Shin, congrats on completing RADS. Keep up the good work. Praying for you.

Francesca Giessmann said...

hey Shin:
hope the chemo wont be to hard on you.
sending you love

Shin said...


I KNEW we should have bought Genentech stock!

From what I've been reading, drugs like Avastin are going to be the cure for cancer.

In fact, if I were the betting type, I'd say there's going to be a cure for cancer within the next decade - and it's going to be targeted therapies like angiogenesis inhibitors and cancer protein blockers.